November 4, 2007

Bush Is Right to Worry If Waterboarding Is Defined as Torture

By Jane Smiley, via Alternet:

"Jack L. Goldsmith, who served in the Justice Department in 2003 and 2004, wrote in his recent memoir, The Terror Presidency, that the possibility of future prosecution for aggressive actions against terrorism was a constant worry inside the Bush administration." Another expert points out that future prosecutors "... would ask not just who carried it out, but who specifically approved it. Theoretically, it could go all the way up to the president of the United States; that's why he'll never say it's torture."


One of the enraging things about the Bush administration is the way that they have consistently written their own rules [...] (and in fact, George W. Bush, according to Gail Sheehy, was well known among his friends for changing the rules of a game until he could engineer a win -- and isn't that how they won in 2000?).


Someone whose car hits another person in a crosswalk might have been too frightened to stick around or might not have even realized he had hit someone, but the law still prosecutes these crimes, because a responsible citizen is expected to conform to the laws no matter what his emotional state. Same with Cheney and Bush.


This article pretty much says a lot of stuff we already know, but it's good for reiteration. The article has some pictures of a waterboard from Cambodia and a painting by an ex prisoner there showing what waterboarding looks like.

I was listening to NPR this Thursday on my way to the Houston area for a visit and on a program called "Fresh Air" they interviewed one of the main overseers from the U.S. Guantanamo Bay prison, who's name I forget. The NPR anchor was excrutiatingly polite (as I suppose they always are) to this asshole who never answered a single question asked him. When asked "Are torture tactics used at Guantanamo Bay?" he said that last year, the Army redefined their definition of torture to fit the definition commonly used in the international community (like Saudi Arabia and Turkey?). He never answered "yes" or "no," he simply went on to talk about all the nice things the prisoners have, like Subway sandwiches and 5 prayer times a day. To top it off, after listing all the "perks" the prisoners get at Guantanamo Bay, the man douchebaggedly concluded that "If that's what the UN sees as torture then..." yada yada yada, the guy was full of shit and though I'm an NPR fan, they should have called him on it.

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