5092177Before you read the following excerpts from the CIA interrogation report released today, consider these three points:
The declassified-but-heavily-redacted CIA report released on Monday by the Justice Department reveals these so-called "enhanced" interrogation techniques:
1. A 1994 federal law prohibits U.S. nationals from performing torture upon penalty of up to 20 years in prison. "Torture" is defined as the threat of imminent death, the threat of someone else being killed, and acts "specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering."
2. Waterboarding has long been viewed as torture. A post-World War II tribunal ruled that waterboarding was torture when performed by the Japanese; the U.S. government condemned it at the time as a "brutal and bestial" practice. When U.S. soldiers were subjected to it during the Philippine-American War, a senator denounced it in a 1902 speech as "cold-blooded, deliberate, calculated torture." In 1984, a federal appeals court ruled that waterboarding done by Texas law enforcement was "torture."
3. By the end of his term as president, George W. Bush knew the techniques that CIA interrogators employed. Yet on his final days of office, when he was signing petitions for clemency, he chose not to pardon anyone involved. (A few years earlier, Bush had declared that "torture anywhere is an affront to human dignity everywhere.")