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Crossposted from ePluribus Media. Check the bottom for the update.

Gee, for a nation that doesn't torture, this shouldn't be happening:

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The CIA director on Tuesday publicly named for the first time the three suspected al Qaeda detainees who were subjected to the harsh interrogation technique of waterboarding.

"It was used on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. It was used on Abu Zubayda, and it was used on [Abd al-Rahim] al-Nashiri," CIA Director Michael Hayden told a Senate hearing.


Director of National Intelligence Michael McConnell, who also testified at the hearing, said waterboarding remains a technique in the CIA's arsenal, according to The Associated Press. He said it would require the president's consent and legal approval from the attorney general, the AP reported.

[Emphasis mine.]

There you have it, folks.

Bush, in his speeches where he insisted "we do not torture," constantly referred to the Attorney General's tortured definition of torture that was rewritten to exclude waterboarding, so that he could claim that "we do not torture" and still not technically lie, even though he knew he had personally signed off on Waterboarding and other "enhanced interrogation" ("torture") techniques.

That's how he plans to get off the hook -- he'll claim he was following the legal definition.

Unfortunately for him, he and the DoJ knew that there were already existing cases (read: precedent) clearly establishing that the US Government viewed waterboarding as torture, so their shell game with word definitions doesn't protect him (or the DoJ) from war crimes and from federal criminal law prosecution.

Just because he's using a convenient re-definition of the word "torture" that doesn't mean that he's not actually torturing people; it just means he's even more guilty of trying to lie and cover it through -- quite literally -- a lie / sin of omission: their convenient new definition and what it leaves out of the list of things considered to be torture.

Now, of course, we have a stronger case for his willful signing off on the use of it. The case for "plausible deniability" is shot from the get-go; if you take the time to watch videos where Bush denied that our nation engaged in torture, and examine how he careful confabulates and incorporates the shiny-new DoJ definition as his working (read: "relevant") definition of "torture" it becomes very clear that he is explicitly attempting to establish that excuse.

He and his entire Administration should be immediately impeached, removed from office and prosecuted for War Crimes.

UPDATE: Via MichiganGirl's earlier diary on this (please go rec it up, too -- it's different enough and makes great points), there's this:

You have to remember, it wasn't just bush and cheney that are guilty of these crimes... It's also anyone that knew anything about the crimes and sat back to do nothing... and that covers damned near every branch of our government.

  • The executive branch ordered it.
  • The Legislative branch knew about it and either did nothing or actively approved.
  • The Judicial Branch said it was legal.
  • The CIA/military departments carried it out.
  • The Justice Department excused everything.

She nails it.

Originally posted to GreyHawk on Tue Feb 05, 2008 at 03:24 PM PST.

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