Thursday, July 17, 2008

John Ashcroft's Shameful Defense of Waterboarding

John Ashcroft cements his legacy as a public servant.

You have to give him credit for being more forthcoming that Michael Mukasey--but then you have to remember that this is a man defending the practice of waterboarding:
"The reports that I have heard, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, indicate that they were very valuable," Ashcroft said, adding that CIA Director George Tenet indicated the "value of the information received from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques -- I don't know whether he was saying waterboarding or not, but assume that he was for a moment -- the value of that information exceeded the value of information that was received from all other sources."

Waterboarding is a technique designed to simulate drowning. The agency has acknowledged using it on terror suspects. Some critics regard it as torture; others say it is a harsh interrogation technique, and proponents say it is a useful tool in the war on terror.

Ashcroft, who stated his opposition to torture, said the Justice Department has determined that waterboarding -- as defined and described by the CIA -- doesn't constitute torture.

"I believe a report of waterboarding would be serious, but I do not believe it would define torture," Ashcroft said, responding to questions from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California.

Only, we now know that the practice drove the men insane. We now know it killed men. We know that there were people arguing against it, touting the proven method of building rapport. We have defined deviancy down to the point where monstrous things are commonplace discussion. Flippant, ridiculous, self-serving and intellectually bankrupt defenses of waterboarding signal many, many years of batshit crazy discourse ahead.

Yep, the worst times in our country's history are upon us. We're living them and we're seeing the deviancy up close, and it's truly an awful thing. Awful.

[video below the fold]

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