CIA officers granted immunity, Obama to release torture memos

It's been a tense day for constitutional lawyers, national security reporters, and foreign policy wonks. Why? This afternoon, the Obama administration intends to release memos relating to the controversial "enhanced interrogation" policies of CIA officers in overseas prisons.

There have been careful negotiations between the CIA, Justice Department, and White House over the contents of the release, and it seems the officers involved have been granted immunity from prosecution as a result. 

The full set of documents should be released here sometime within the hour. 

Update: The only redactions are the officers' names. 

Update: Read the memos here


Want to defy international law? Nicaragua can help

Thailand's efforts to extradite former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra and charge him with corruption were made quite a bit harder last night, thanks to Nicaragua of all places:

The Nicaraguan government announced late Wednesday it had named Thaksin a "Nicaraguan ambassador on a special mission" to bring investment to the Central American country and issued him a passport in January.

The announcement came just hours after the Thai government said it had revoked Thaksin's personal passport, accusing him of stoking the unrest that paralyzed the Thai capital earlier this week.

If you're wondering what Nicaragua has to with any of this you're not alone. Thai authorities seem to have been taken off guard by this development as well. Thaksin has spent some time in Nicaragua since he was exiled so it's conceivable he simply payed for a passport, though he claims to be short on money since the Thai military seized his assets. 

This isn't the first time in recent months that Nicaragua has stuck its nose into an international dispute that seemingly doesn't concern it at all. Last September it became the first (and so far only) country other than Russia to recognize the breakaway Georgian territories of South Ossetia and Abkhazia. 

Granted it's only two examples, but it will be interesting to see if President Daniel Ortega continues to offer his country as a one-stop-shop for conferring (albeit dubious) legitimacy on international scofflaws.