What does it mean when the President of the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world, admits to the world that he authorized waterboarding?
His lawyers said (remember the “Loyal Bushies” that staffed the Department of Justice curing Bush’s tenure) that waterboarding does not violate 18 U.S.C. 2340; that waterboarding is not “torture.”
The statute says,
As used in this chapter—
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death…
I leave it to you, our readers, to decide for yourselves: Did President Bush authorize torture?
What Waterboarding IsWaterboarding induces panic and suffering by forcing a person to inhale water into the sinuses, pharynx, larynx, and trachea.
The head is tilted back and water is poured into the upturned mouth or nose. Eventually the subject cannot exhale more air or cough out more water, the lungs are collapsed, and the sinuses and trachea are filled with water. The subject is drowned from the inside, filling with water from the head down. The chest and lungs are kept higher than the head so that coughing draws water up and into the lungs while avoiding total suffocation. “His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown.”
The prohibition against torture is so global that no country, great or small, can authorize torture.
This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.