The CIA Twisted The Legacy Of A Vietnam War Protest To Justify Torture

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tags: torture, CIA



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Honolulu, 1971. A diverse group of men and women walk into an office of the Honeywell Corporation to protest the company's manufacture of deadly cluster bombs. They have come to put their bodies in the gears of the war machine.

The "Honeywell 8," as the protesters came to be known, engaged in an act of civil disobedience to stop a brutal conflict. Decades later, a CIA draft memo reveals that just two months after 9/11, the agency had been frankly contemplating the use of torture -- and incredibly, it was invoking the Honeywell 8's legal defense to do so.

On trial for trespassing in 1971, the protesters summoned ancient English common law to argue that their crime was a "necessity" to stop Honeywell from making bombs. In the CIA draft memo, released last Tuesday as part of the Senate Intelligence Committee's torture report, the agency's general counsel cited the Hawaii Supreme Court's ruling on the Honeywell protest to argue that the crime of torture might similarly be a "necessity" to win the war on terror.




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