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OLC Memo: Legal Standards Applicable Under 18 U.S.C. §§ 2340-2340A

Dec. 30, 2004 | OLC | ACLU-RDI 4585

This document was originally released on June 1, 2005 (ACLU-RDI 3547).  This OLC memo supercedes the August 2002 memo interpreting the anti-torture statute. The memo disagrees with the previous memo's conclusions that torture is limited to pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure," and that "severe physical suffering" could in no circumstances be distinct from "severe physical pain" under the torture statute. The memo does not, howeover, address the issue of intent. The memo also notes that despite the legal disagreements with the previous memo, the OLC does not believe that the conclusions would be different under the new legal standards. [OLC Vaughn Index #96]