Monday, October 30, 2006

Vice President for Torture

Last week, US VP Dick Cheney called the "dunking" of detainees a "no-brainer." The US media dutifully played up the White House spin that the VP had not been referring to "water-boading" -- a Khmer Rouge torture practice. Legal analyst Marty Lederman puts the spin in perspective:

...if, in the Administration's view, waterboarding were clearly unlawful, it would say so publicly. The fact that it is unwilling to do so means that it is leaving open the possibility that the CIA may legally employ waterboarding.

How can that possibly be? I understand how the Vice President might think it is a "no brainer" that waterboarding can be used, because he and his staff do not think that the law binds the Executive branch at all. [It really says something about the state of our Nation, doesn't it, that the Administration's ludicrous defense of the Vice President's remarks is that he was referring not to waterboarding but instead to dunking detainees in water? As if that torture technique -- you know, the one used to test suspected witches -- is more acceptable conduct for the greatest democracy on Earth in the 21st Century? As I've said before, the term "shameless" doesn't even begin to describe . . . .]
You can read the rest of Marty Lederman's posting here.

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