Sunday, November 04, 2007

AG Nominee Mukasey Explains When Waterboarding May Not Be So Bad

In written responses to questions posed by members of Congress, Judge Michael Mukasey, President's Bush's nominee for Attorney General, explained that whether waterboarding is illegal depends on the "facts and circumstances", including the "particular technique" employed.

Mukasey further explained his answer at a press conference this afternoon."I have heard that some practitioners of waterboarding make sure to place a pillow under the head of their subject, just before they tie him or her down, place cloth over the mouth, and pour water through the cloth to simulate drowning," Mukasey stated. "Is that torture? I'm not sure. In other cases, the waterboarder may test the temperature of the water before pouring it down the waterboardee's throat in order to be sure it's neither too cold, nor too hot. I don't know about you, but that kind of sensitivity would, in my view, go a long way toward beating a torture rap."

The ghost of 15th century Spanish inquisitor Tomas deTorquemada agreed with Judge Mukasey. "This is the kind of thing I'd be very uncomfortable judging until all the facts are in. Saying all waterboarding is torture is like saying it's always wrong to place a suspected heretic on the rack, or to burn a known witch at the stake. These things are open to interpretation."


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