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Gringo:
In the case of torture, the definition is not completely agreed upon. While you and I may call something torture, a government, i.e., the one in the USA, may not. While many have long held that waterboarding is torture, the US Government, during the Bush Administration, officially stated it was not and directed government employees to behave as if it were not.

I understand it is a possible legal defence, but I do not see how any government, even with the most cursory investigation of the history and legal precedent could say this with any  sense of reality, and any departmental lawyer when handed this decision should have said to the people involved that the ruling was legaly dubious, rather than said "Well the department of justice says its ok, so lets go ahead" and should have cried off. The CIAs lawyers would have noted that the US government had declared waterboarding to be torture in the cases of German and Japanese members of their armed forces (Plus Norwegian and French police collaborators) in the aftermath of WWII, as a more recent example, a US sheriff and his associates had recieved ten years imprisonment for waterbording suspected criminals, from The Ronald Reagan Justice department.

Any idiot can face a crisis - it's day to day living that wears you out.

by ceebs (ceebs (at) eurotrib (dot) com) on Mon Sep 21st, 2009 at 12:21:19 PM EST
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