US State Dep't: Waterboarding Americans Ok?

This is what it has come to:

The top legal adviser within the US state department, who counsels the secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice, on international law, has declined to rule out the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding even if it were applied by foreign intelligence services on US citizens.

Let's be clear. Until the Bush Administration, there has been NO DOUBT WHATSOEVER that waterboarding was torture and a violation of American and international law. What is the issue now? The issue is the Bush Administration authorized waterboarding. The Bush Administration committed war crimes. So now, to try and save themselves from this fact, they will accept the torture of Americans. Truly the most disgraceful Administration in history.

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    Remember (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by scarshapedstar on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:24:52 AM EST
    They don't deal in "abstract discussions" and "hypotheticals."

    In other news, the White House warned today that if Congress doesn't pass its latest bill, terrorists might nuke Manhattan.

    Uh (5.00 / 2) (#2)
    by Bob In Pacifica on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:42:49 AM EST
    How about the bamboo under the fingernail jobby? Is that constitutional? How about branding pledges?

    You see, this is what you get when you allow psychopaths into the White House.

    An Amazing Policy Shift (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by po on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:59:01 AM EST
    So now, foreign intelligence services can torture US citizens and the US State Department won't get involved until after the torture is complete and it can examine all of the facts surrounding the need to torture this or that American citizen.  Extraordinary rendition expanded?

    The Only Logical Step (5.00 / 2) (#4)
    by Packratt on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 10:45:40 AM EST
    The administration is indeed in a legalistic bind.

    After all, how can you suggest that a form of punishment is too cruel and unusual to be legally performed on a US citizen, but is permissible to perform on a foriegn citizen.

    You cannot.

    Any form of punishment or interrogation that you legalize then forces you to conceed that the same form of punishment and enhanced interrogation is permissible to be performed upon your own person as well.

    It's what I've been saying all along, and I highly suspect that this is why all the lawyers I call about my case are strangely silent about how I was treated in custody.

    Boys and girls, torture is now legal in the US, what's good for a suspected terrorist, is also good for that US citizen who got caught jaywalking.

    Let me clarify (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by Packratt on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:04:25 AM EST
    Before someone says "oh, you're just blowing things out of proportion..." let me step through the logic for you.

    If the justification for permitting the use of enhanced interrogation techniques like waterboarding, forced nudity during interrogation, stress positions, and withholding of medical care to relieve pain from injuries are permissible if they are performed on untried foreign nationals with the intent to save American lives.

    Then too, if it is permissible to perform the same techniques on untried American citizens in foreign nations to save foreign lives.

    How then, can it not be legal to perform the same techniques on untried American citizens in America with the intent to save American lives?

    Furthermore, if the objective of saving lives is a justification for such 'enhanced techniques' which would have normally been considered a form of cruel and unusual punishment, then a local police officer or jail guard could suggest, quite legally within those terms of justification, that they waterboarded a jaywalker to protect his or her own life as well as any lives they might have endangered by impeading traffic in the future.

    The JAG corp Water-Boarding is torture reprise (5.00 / 2) (#6)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:13:49 AM EST
    From C & L Yeah I know I posted this on another torture thread, but it bears repeating
    In the course of the Senate Judiciary Committee's consideration of President Bush's nominee for the post of Attorney General, there has been much discussion, but little clarity, about the legality of "waterboarding" under  United States and international law. We write Because this issue above all demands clarity: Waterboarding is inhumane, it is torture, and it is illegal...
    The Rule of Law is fundamental to our existence as a civilized nation. The Rule of Law is not a goal which we merely aspire to achieve; it is the floor below which we must not sink. For the Rule of Law to function effectively, however, it must provide actual rules yhat can be followed. In this instance, the relevant rule - the law - as long been clear: Waterboarding detainees amounts to illegal torture in all circumstances. To suggest otherwise - or even to give credence to such a suggestion - represents both an affront to the law and to the core values of our nation.

    We respectfully urge you to consider these principles in connection with the nomination of Judge Mukasey.


    Rear Admiral Donald J. Guter, United States Navy (Ret.)
    Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 2000-02

    Rear Admiral John D. Hutson, United States Navy (Ret.)
    Judge Advocate General of the Navy, 1997-2000

    Major General John L. Fugh, United States Army (Ret.)
    Judge Advocate General of the Army, 1991-93

    Brigadier General David M. Brahms, United States Marine Corps (Ret.)
    Staff Judge Advocate to the Commandant, 1985-88

    This is reasonably clear. The real question is why Bush-Cheney and their water-boarding supporters feel the need to physically abuse prisoners? Who would Jesus water-board and why?

    The criminal law term depraved heart comes to mind vividly in these discussions.

    I'm trying to remember (5.00 / 1) (#7)
    by tnthorpe on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:36:48 AM EST
    why impeachment is off the table. (GO KUCINICH!!) Extraordinary rendition, torture, CIA black sites and permanent incarceration without charge, illegal surveillance of citizens, war profiteering, and the list goes on and on. Now the Dems use Mukasey's nomination to play both sides of the fence (on an issue where there are NOT two sides because there is no question that waterboarding is torture and torture is wrong) and give the Bush torture crew another free pass. I don't know who is more disgusting: those who actively promote the use of torture or those in a postion to stop it who do nothing.

    Not Worth IT (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by squeaky on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:59:37 AM EST
    I'm trying to remember why impeachment is off the table.
    Not enought time before the 08 election so it would wind up being an empty gesture. The Republicans would use it against us and hurt a democratic win in 08.

    I take the point (5.00 / 3) (#10)
    by tnthorpe on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:15:09 PM EST
    but how is it that the most corrupt administration ever hasn't been, isn't being, held accountable? Like the bumper sticker says: "would someone give Bush a b!@w job so we can impeach him!" I understand that the political moment has passed, but that's the problem, impeachment was approached in primarily political terms, not in terms of duty to the country or the obligations imposed by being a congressperson to the Constitution. Now, torture is sanctioned, illegal surveillance isn't prosecuted, companies exonerated (if Rockefeller's FISA becomes law), and on and on. Once accomplished these new low benchmarks won't quickly disappear.

    AS Barbara Jordan put it during Nixon's impeachment hearing:
    My faith in the Constitution is whole; it is complete; it is total. And I am not going to sit here and be an idle spectator to the diminution, the subversion, the destruction, of the Constitution.
    Why are the Dems so resolutely idle?


    Points for the Barbara Jordan Quote (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by Molly Bloom on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:27:08 PM EST
    Why are the Dems so resolutely idle? (1.00 / 0) (#11)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:23:13 PM EST
    The FISA Amendment should have made that obvious. The Democratic Leadership, I think, is NOT about to limit in any way ANY of the presidential power they think will be handed to them on a silver platter by voters out of fear of republicans next year. Why would they? What motivation do they have?

    They are mistaken though. (1.00 / 0) (#13)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 12:28:58 PM EST
    The overall landscape tilts in the direction of the Democrats, but there is evidence in the new poll -- matched in conversations with political strategists in both parties and follow-up interviews with survey participants -- that the coming battle for the White House is shaping up to be another hard-fought, highly negative and closely decided contest.

    At this point, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), the Democratic front-runner, holds the edge in hypothetical match-ups with four of the top contenders for the Republican nomination. But against the two best-known GOP candidates, former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Sen. John McCain (Ariz.), her margins are far from comfortable. Not one of the leading candidates in either party has a favorable rating above 51 percent in the new poll.
    Democrats can take little comfort in Bush's numbers, however. A year after voters turned Republicans out of power in the House and the Senate, approval of the Democratic-controlled Congress's performance is lower than the president's rating, registering just 28 percent. That is the lowest since November 1995, when Republicans controlled Congress and the capital was paralyzed in a budgetary fight that shut down the government.

    Sunday, November 4, 2007

    When I was a kid (5.00 / 1) (#14)
    by scarshapedstar on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 02:49:56 PM EST
    And my parents didn't want me to do something, like go to the movies, I'd ask them and they'd say "We'll think about it."

    And they'd keep thinking about it.

    And then they'd say it was too late.

    Nancy Pelosi: bringing tough love to all of us misguided fools who think that a million dead Iraqis are worth even one moment's consideration.


    It is clear now, (1.00 / 0) (#8)
    by Edger on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 11:46:38 AM EST
    as if it were not clear before now, that the Bush/Cheney administration, and their enablers and supporters, have become and probably always were the "terror" that they so self-righteously and loudly claim to want to eradicate from the world.

    Is it not clear now?

    A proverb comes to mind... (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Packratt on Mon Nov 05, 2007 at 09:37:35 PM EST
    When you seek to be like your enemy,
    in order to defeat your enemy,
    you become your enemy.