The Transitive Property: Attorney General Mukasey Says Waterboarding Isn’t Torture

Torture is illegal in the United States.  Our Attorney General, Mikey Mukasey, pictured above apparently finding the perfect spot to scratch, and other Justice Department lawyers have rejected congressional calls for a criminal investigation of the C.I.A.’s use of simulated drowning in 2002 and 2003.  Their reason: because it was legal.  If torture is illegal, but Mukasey says that waterboarding is legal, then he must obviously believe that waterboarding does not constitute torture.  Now I can see why he declined to comment about it during his job interview.

The day after Mukasey’s decision, White House spokesman Tony Fratto said that, even though the C.I.A. no longer uses waterboarding *nudge and wink,* it could do so again with Bush’s approval.

Not everyone shares Mukasey’s view on waterboarding.

Independent legal experts have said the use of a tactic meant to coerce detainees to talk by making them fear death through drowning is barred by U.S. laws and treaties under all circumstances, a viewpoint the administration has made clear it rejects.

Mukasey also claimed that waterboarding couldn’t possibly be the subject of a Justice Department investigation because its use was approved by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel (back when it was run by thugs and clowns, remember?).  Likewise, he said the Justice Department couldn’t investigate warrantless wiretapping because the Justice Department approved that one too.

Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, called for an outside investigator. “Everyone in the world knows that waterboarding is torture and illegal,” Cox said. “The U.S. government admits having done it. Yet the highest law enforcement official in the land refuses to investigate this scandal.”

Just a reminder that waterboarding dates back to the Spanish Inquistion and has been prosecuted as torture by the U.S. military and condemned by the State Department when used by despotic governments.  Even Mukasey doesn’t want to be waterboarded!

In his appearance last week before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Mukasey said waterboarding would be torture if it were done to him. But he declined to say whether it was legal, saying that was irrelevant because the practice is no longer used.

How do we keep picking these people to run our Justice Department?

Justice Dept. ‘Cannot’ Probe Waterboarding, Mukasey Says – [Washington Post]

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