Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Is Waterboarding Torture?

It's a dumb question for most people. Of course it's torture. That's my opinion and also the opinion of Gary Solis, a former Marine Corps Judge Advocate and military judge.
The U.S. Army has long known. During the U.S.- Philippine War (1899-1902), five Army officers, Major Edwin Glenn, Captain Cornelius Brownell, 1st Lieutenants Julien Gaujot, Edwin Hickman, and Preston Brown, were convicted by courts-martial for employing the “water cure” in interrogating Philippine prisoners.
Unfortunately, Judge Michael B. Mukasey, Bush's nominee for attorney general, doesn't know if water boarding is torture but he does know it's repugnant. But if it is torture, it's unconstitutional (probably because of that pesky 8th amendment). It probably isn't torture because the United States government does not use torture. We have the word of the President of the United States on that issue.

Maybe if it's decided that waterboarding is not torture, Congressional investigations can start using it to get answers out of Bush administration officials.

Judge Mukasey was the "fairhaired boy" of the Senate Judiciary committee before the waterboarding as torture question came along. Next Tuesday the committee votes whether to recommend Judge Mukasey for attorney general to the full Senate.

My a week or two we will be calling him AG Mukasey.

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