Torture By Any Other Name....

Syrian-Canadian Arar Mahar, right, testifies via video conference before a House Joint Oversight Hearing on "Rendition to Torture: The Case of Maher Arar." Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007, in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill in Washington.
AP Photo/Kevin Wolf
This column was written by CBS News Early Show co-anchor Harry Smith.
President Bush has said many times "The United States doesn't torture people." How do we know really?

Maher Arar - a law abiding Canadian who was first detained at John F. Kennedy Airport then shipped, he thinks, to Syria - says he was routinely beaten brutally and kept in a tiny cell for more then ten months.

He said he signed most any document placed in front of him in hopes that if he confessed to whatever the document claimed, perhaps the beatings would stop. Presumably that's why he was sent to Syria. So the president and the secretary of state could say we don't torture people.

While we don't really know for sure, there apparently has been a change in tactics among American interrogators. Torture is out. The CIA and others practice what's called "enhanced interrogation techniques." Would that include waterboarding?

And if you wanted to be the new attorney general and someone asked if you condoned it, what would you say?

Harry's daily commentary can be heard on many CBS Radio News affiliates across the country.