Drown by law

Reason
by Jacob Sullum

11/07/07

Federal law defines torture as an act ’specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering.’ It defines ’severe mental pain or suffering’ as ‘the prolonged mental harm’ caused by, among other things, ‘the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering’ or ‘the threat of imminent death.’ Is there any way that tying someone down, tipping him backward, covering his face with cloth or plastic, and pouring water over him to produce the sensations of drowning would not qualify as torture?

//www.reason.com/news/show/123352.html



We have ways …

The American Conservative
by James Bovard

11/05/07

On Oct. 4, the New York Times blew another ten-foot hole in the Bush administration’s torture cover-up. The Times revealed that the Justice Department produced a secret legal opinion in early 2005 permitting CIA interrogators to use ‘combined effects’ on detainees, including head slapping, waterboarding, frigid temperatures, manacling for many hours in stress positions, and blasting with loud music to assure sleep deprivation. The Times labeled the memo as an ‘expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.’ Within hours of the paper hitting the streets, President Bush issued the same moth-eaten denial he has used many times since Abu Ghraib: ‘This government does not torture people. You know, we stick to U.S. law and our international obligations.’ But it is the ‘law’ as contorted by administration lawyers who rubberstamp whatever methods Bush or Cheney demand. The same lawyers who tell Bush he has ‘inherent authority’ to wiretap Americans’ phone calls also tell him he has authority to redefine torture, regardless of the English-language precedents dating back to Chaucer...

//www.amconmag.com/2007/2007_11_05/article3.html


Informant: Thomas L. Knapp



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