Tuesday, February 5, 2008

It's Official, U.S. Tortures

Super Tuesday became stupor Tuesday given the Bush administration's confession that it tortured three enemy combatants, via waterboarding. An AP report said:

"We used it against these three detainees because of the circumstances at the time," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. "There was the belief that additional catastrophic attacks against the homeland were inevitable. And we had limited knowledge about al-Qaida and its workings. Those two realities have changed."

How so? Osama bin Laden's organization uses Pakistan's tribal region to train for attacks in Afghanistan, the Middle East, Africa and the United States, U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell said said Tuesday. "Al-Qaida remains the pre-eminent threat against the United States," Mike McConnell told a Senate hearing more than six years after the Sept. 11 attacks. A MSNBC report says the Pakistani government has been unable to disrupt or damage al-Qaida terrorists in their safe haven region. Those tribal regions serve as a potential base for global operations. It seems those two realities haven't changed, after all.

The AP report on waterboarding added:

Hayden said Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri were waterboarded in 2002 and 2003. Hayden banned the technique in 2006, but National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell told senators during the same hearing Tuesday that waterboarding remains in the CIA arsenal - so long as it as the specific consent of the president and legal approval of the attorney general.

As for the impact of waterboarding, consider Khalid Sheik Mohammed's testimony with a laundry list of super terror crimes. Later, experts questionned the accuracy of confessions from harsh interrogation techniques.

Even a casual reading of Khalid Sheik Mohammed's transcript shows him trying to right his confession. Had someone walked up with cellophane, a bucket of water, and wet washcloth, Mr. Mohammed might not have raised a peep. On the generalities, Khalid confessed to being an enemy of America, but on the specifics, he seemed to want to set the record straight. Why wouldn't the aim of U.S. justice be to hold people accountable for their actual acts?

This brings us back around to American governmental officials using torture against people in its custody. Waterboarding is a clear violation of international treaties, U.S. law and the ideal of America not stooping to the level of our enemies. Who will be held accountable?

For another Super analogy, once again the Giants (President & AG) beat the Patriots. Stoop we will, this stupor Tuesday. If you can't stand for something, you'll fall for anything.