Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Mukasey won't say if waterboarding is torture...

...but in 1947, Americans were sure enough that it was torture that they sentenced a Japanese officer to 15 years hard labor for doing it. Here' Pensito Review's take:
Immoral Relativism: George Bush’s nomination of Michael Mukasey for U.S. attorney general — once thought to be smooth sailing — is experiencing a bit of turbulence. The problem is, Mukasey can’t bring himself to say whether or not waterboarding is torture:

During his confirmation hearings earlier this month, Mukasey said he believes torture violates the Constitution, but he refused to be pinned down on whether he believes specific interrogation techniques, such as waterboarding, are constitutional.

“I don’t know what’s involved in the techniques. If waterboarding is torture, torture is not constitutional,” he said.

But after World War II, the United States government was quite clear about the fact that waterboarding was torture, at least when it was done to U.S. citizens:

[In] 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation.
(HT: Bryan via email.) It is astounding how morally relativistic the people surrounding and enabling the Bush administration have become. And it'll be astounding how they re-discover the virtues of limiting executive power when, in all likelihood, a Democrat is elected president in 2008.

I urge all Senators to vote against confirming this guy. I'll be keeping track of names.


Anonymous Bill in Minneapolis said...

I agree that it is outrageous that Mukasy is hedging on the issue of waterboarding. Clearly, it is torture. Just ask any one of these Bush jokers, if waterboarding was done to their daughter or wife, what their reaction would be.

I am sure they would yell bloody murder and say, "You can't do that to my daughter/wife. That is illegal torture !"

Clearly, the reason he is hedging is that he does not want to be forced to prosecute those who have authorize and carried out this torture recently. He would have to bring prosecution against George himself because I am sure there is a memo someplace where George authorizes it.

Can a President pardon himself ?

5:13 AM, November 01, 2007  

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