Saturday, December 15, 2007

Only One Interesting Question Remains



clipped from harpers.org

This resurrects the process of official cruelty under the Stuart monarchs in seventeenth century England. Persons accused
of state crimes very frequently were interrogated with the use of specific techniques, including the rack, the thumbscrew,
and waterboarding. King James I personally described the process in The Kings Booke (1606). He would, on the advice of his officers, “approve no new torture,” but he would certainly avail himself of the existing
practices. In ascending order of severity they were: thumbscrews, the rack and waterboarding. That’s right. Waterboarding was considered the most severe of the official forms of torture. Worse than the rack and thumbscrews.

[Image]
King James I of England, portrait by Daniel Mytens (1621). He believed in waterboarding… and the Divine Right of Kings… funny
how that runs together.

In the depraved humor of Dick Cheney, of course, it’s just bobbing for apples at a Halloween Fair.


blog it

The Harper's article lays down background Clipmarks didn't have room for:

..this week, a CIA agent, John Kiriakou, appeared, first on ABC News and then in an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, and explained just how the system works. When we want to torture someone (and it is torture he said, no one involved with these techniques would ever think anything different), we have to write it up. The team leader of the torture team proposes what torture techniques will be used and when. He sends it to the Deputy Chief of Operations at the CIA. And there it is reviewed by the hierarchy of the Company. Then the proposal is passed to the Justice Department to be reviewed, blessed, and it is passed to the National Security Council in the White House, to be reviewed and approved. The NSC is chaired, of course, by George W. Bush, whose personal authority is invoked for each and every instance of torture authorized. And, according to Kiriakou as well as others, Bush’s answer is never “no.” He has never found a case where he didn’t find torture was appropriate. Here’s a key piece of the Kiriakou statement:

LAUER: Was the White House involved in that decision?

KIRIAKOU: Absolutely, this isn’t something done willy nilly. It’s not something that an agency officer just wakes up in the morning and decides he’s going to carry out an enhanced technique on a prisoner. This was a policy made at the White House, with concurrence from the National Security Council and Justice Department.

He then goes into the process in considerable detail. Watch the video here.



So let us just recap what we know:

  1. We know that Waterboarding is not only torture, it's really, really severe torture.
  2. We know that Torture is a crime under various international laws as well as and under our own, seeing that treaties we are signatory to have the force of law.
  3. We know that George Bush knowingly and personally approved every single instance of torture, according to this testimony.

So only one question of interest remains:

Was he actually masturbating during NSC sessions regarding torture, or did he wait until he got back to the Oval Office?

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