With all of the hoopla over the Super Tuesday primaries, this story
has slipped through the cracks. Perhaps the timing of the release of the story was intentional for that very reason.
The CIA used a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects captured after the September 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress on Tuesday.
"Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. official publicly specified the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them.
Critics call waterboarding a form of illegal torture. Congress is considering banning the technique.
Congress is considering banning the technique? It's already against the law (which we'll see in a minute). But first, let's take a look at this report
from the State Dept about Tunisia:
- Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
The law prohibits such practices; however, security forces reportedly tortured detainees to elicit confessions and discourage resistance. The forms of torture and other abuse included: electric shock; submersion of the head in water; beatings with hands, sticks, and police batons; suspension, sometimes manacled, from cell doors and rods resulting in loss of consciousness; and cigarette burns. According to AI, police and prison officials used sexual assault and threats of sexual assault against the wives of Islamist prisoners to extract information, to intimidate, and to punish.
For example, on June 25, according to CNLT, 25-year-old Zied Ghodhbane appeared in court in a state of physical and psychological distress, bearing marks of abuse on his body. He reportedly testified that officials at the Ministry of Interior tortured him by beatings, electrocution, and holding his head under water in detention facilities at the interior ministry after his extradition from Algeria to the country.
So even the State Dept says torture is illegal, and says that dunking someones head in water is torture. But what does the law say? Let's look at Title18, Chapter 113C, Section 2340
of the U.S. Code of Law:
As used in this chapter -
( 1 ) "torture" means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
( 2 ) "severe mental pain or suffering" means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from -
( A ) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
( B ) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
( C ) the threat of imminent death; or
( D ) the threat that another person will imminently be subjected to death, severe physical pain or suffering, or the administration or application of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or personality;
Can anyone deny that waterboarding represents the threat of imminent death? Not only is it a crime, it's a war crime, according to Title 18, Chapter 118, Section 2441
of the U.S. Code of Law:
(a) Offense.— Whoever, whether inside or outside the United States, commits a war crime, in any of the circumstances described in subsection ( b ), shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for life or any term of years, or both, and if death results to the victim, shall also be subject to the penalty of death.
( c ) Definition.— As used in this section the term “war crime” means any conduct—
( 1 ) defined as a grave breach in any of the international conventions signed at Geneva 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party;
( 2 ) prohibited by Article 23, 25, 27, or 28 of the Annex to the Hague Convention IV, Respecting the Laws and Customs of War on Land, signed 18 October 1907;
( 3 ) which constitutes a violation of common Article 3 of the international conventions signed at Geneva, 12 August 1949, or any protocol to such convention to which the United States is a party and which deals with non-international armed conflict;...
So impeachment is still off the table? Why?... One can certainly say that George W. Bush didn't personally perform these acts, but he oversaw an administration that did, and did nothing to stop it (I believe in legal parlance that's "Conspiracy to Commit"). Ignorance of the law is no excuse. Mukasey can dance around it, but he can't change what the law says, nor what this Administration has done. No retroactive immunity for telecoms, and no retroactive immunity for this Administration.
Off to jail with the lot of them!