Thursday, February 7, 2008

One Heckuva Guy

It didn't get much coverage on the TV news, but Attorney General Michael Mukasey faced the Senate again last week and refused to acknowledge that waterboarding is torture.

For more, see this analysis by Helen Thomas in yesterday's Washington Post. She focuses on whether he admitted it was "illegal." Of course, torture can be perfectly legal if domestic laws permit it, though international law does not. Though the CIA and Pentagon have a blanket ban on the practice, according to Thomas:

"Waterboarding remains a technique in the CIA’s arsenal but that it would require the president’s consent and the attorney general’s legal approval before being administered."
No wonder Mukasey's confused. It's illegal... unless he and the President say it's not? But he's not prepared to say it's torture (unless it were done to him), so why would it be illegal?

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