Depends On What The Definition Of Torture…………..Is

Good Morning America! In the news today….President Bush admits/brags of authorizing torture. Here is the front page of the New York Times. And CNN? Why are they not reporting that the President has committed War Crimes, you ask? Because the entire Bush administration defense of their conspiracy to torture rests on their definition of what torture… Sound familiar?

From ABC

The CIA has confirmed Zubaydah was one of three al Qaeda suspects subjected to waterboarding. After he was waterboarded, officials say Zubaydah gave up valuable information that led to the capture of 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammad and fellow 9/11 plotter Ramzi bin al-Shibh.

Mohammad, who is known as KSM, was also subjected to waterboarding by the CIA.

In the interview with ABC News Friday, Bush defended the waterboarding technique used against KSM.

“We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it,” Bush said. “And no, I didn’t have any problem at all trying to find out what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed knew.”

In interview with ABC’s Charles Gibson last year, Tenet said: “It was authorized. It was legal, according to the Attorney General of the United States.”

“Why are we talking about this in the White House?” the network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. “History will not judge this kindly.”

From Raw Story

In one, (memo) dated Aug. 1, 2002, then-Assistant Attorney General Jay Bybee defined torture as covering “only extreme acts” causing pain similar in intensity to that caused by death or organ failure. A second, dated March 14, 2003, justified using harsh tactics on detainees held overseas so long as military interrogators did not specifically intend to torture their captives.

Both legal opinions since have been withdrawn.

From Wikipedias article on the Clinton impeachment:

Clinton denied having a “sexual affair” with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. At the deposition, the judge ordered a precise legal definition of the term “sexual relations”  that Clinton claims to have construed to mean only vaginal intercourse. A much-quoted statement from Clinton’s grand jury testimony showed him questioning the precise use of the word “is.” Clinton said, “It depends on what the meaning of the word ‘is’ is. If the-if he-if ‘is’ means is and never has been, that is not-that is one thing. If it means there is none, that was a completely true statement”

If a co-conspirator gets to define what torture….is. It isn’t torture. Can we please have “the judge order(ed) a precise legal definition of the term “sexual relations” torture.  


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  1. Photobucket

    • Edger on April 12, 2008 at 18:36

    listening to Bush.

    • nocatz on April 12, 2008 at 18:50

    this project might have been linked before , but I couldn’t find it.

    A friend just sent me this VF link. ( Kind of an odd tone to this article, and photos of Madonna all over ),  an interesting use of Second Life.  

    The camp I’m in is a model of Camp X-Ray, the temporary detention facility where terror suspects were held and reportedly tortured until it was decommissioned, in 2002. De la Peña and Weil are adding a version of Camp Delta, as well as a “torture contemplation area.” (“We are not going to torture your avatar,” says de la Peña. “For a lot of reasons. We don’t want to trivialize the notion of torture.”)

  2. chirp chirp chirp

    • robodd on April 12, 2008 at 19:37

    “And no, I didn’t have any problem at all trying to find out what Khalid Sheikh Mohammed knew.”

    And what about torture makes you think that is what you’ll get?  Likely, you’ll get what torturee thinks the torturer wants to hear.  Bad intelligence, in service of what–an attack on Iran and more death?

    These ghouls are so dumb it makes my teeth hurt.

    • OPOL on April 12, 2008 at 19:46
  3. Is it safe to come out yet??

  4. Troutfishing’s diary at the big orange has that shocking title & raises some basic questions that bush, cheney & those “senior advisors” need to answer.  

    I just finished ranting at Conyers about this & told him to ask them:  1.  “Were any “enhanced interrogation techniques” specifically forbidden?–specify.  2.  What safeguards did you implement to prevent non-approved “enhanced interrogation”?  3.  What sort of monitoring was in place to prevent the use of “non-approved” techniques?  and 4. If reporters could find out that there had been such horrific abuses as rapes/ sodomy, why didn’t the administration know?–and if (which in all probability) they did know, why wasn’t this immediately stopped by the administration, and those involved punished?  5.  Is it because those in the Administration did know, and did approve of rape, sodomy, and mutilation?

  5. that competent people highly trained and very highly paid for conducting super secret covert operations would have done so, operated on that information and fixed the entire situation with nary a word mentioned.

    But no, instead we have a period of prolonged “leaks” debates and globally distributed movies from Abu Grahib generating worldwide CIA rendition flight watches along with global distribution of puppy chucking US Marines.  To me as an engineer this goes well beyond the statistical probability of the random occurance of chance events and instead points to an organized calculated effort to smear the credibility and moral standing of the United States.

    Given Globo-corps lust for global government designed to enhance their profit margins who could possibly have been behind all of this “scandal”.

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