Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

Etch-a-Sketch: Punishing Bush Officials

Welcome back to Etch-a-Sketch, the game in which you, the reader, do my job for me while I go to lunch.

Today's challenge: Torture.

I attended an event this morning in which Kevin Zeese, a Naderite lawyer, filed petitions seeking to have 12 former Bush administration officials disbarred for their role in the torture memos. As it happens, that is roughly the number of "enhanced interrogation techniques" endorsed by Bush lawyers. This would seem to present the possibility of an elegant solution: forget about the attempts to disbar or prosecute these former officials, and instead subject them to the very same techniques they approved. Because they said these techniques are perfectly legal and do not cause long-term harm, they should have no objection to the techniques being applied to them. At the same time, this would satisfy the urge for vengeance on the left, while also freeing up our courts, the Congress and the administration to press ahead with other matters.

So your job is to mix and match from the following list of Bush officials and enhanced interrogation techniques. Please explain why a particular person would be a good candidate for a particular one of these techniques.

Former Bush Administration Officials

  • David Addington, Vice President Cheney's chief of staff

  • John Ashcroft, attorney general

  • Stephen Bradbury, Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel

  • Jay Bybee, Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel

  • Michael Chertoff, homeland security secretary

  • Douglas Feith, undersecretary of defense

  • Alice Fisher, director of the Justice Department's Criminal Division

  • Timothy Flanigan, deputy White House counsel

  • Alberto Gonzales, attorney general and White House counsel

  • William Haynes, Pentagon lawyer

  • Michael Mukasey, attorney general

  • John Yoo, Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel

Approved Interrogation Techniques:

  • Sleep deprivation: Detainee is deprived of sleep for more than 48 hours.

  • Nudity: Used to cause psychological discomfort.

  • Dietary manipulation: Substituting liquid meal replacements for solid food.

  • Abdominal slap: Striking the abdomen with the back of an open hand.

  • Attention grasp: Grasping detainee with both hands and pulling forward

  • Facial slap: Slapping detainee's face with fingers spread.

  • Facial hold: Keeps head immobile

  • Waterboarding: Pouring water over face of detainee, who is lying at an angle on his back, head lowered.

  • Water dousing: Cold water is poured on detainee.

  • Wall standing: Forcing detainee to stand with feet spread, arms outstretched, fingers resting on the wall, not permitted to move.

  • Cramped confinement: Restricting movement in a typically dark space

  • Confinement with insects: use of a stinging insect to threaten a suspect in a confinement box

  • Walling: Slamming detainee into a wall.

If your preferred technique is not on the above menu -- say, forced shaving for David Addington -- some substitutions will be permitted. Please ask your server.

By Dana Milbank  | May 18, 2009; 12:01 PM ET
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Etch-a-Sketch: Torture and Disney Edition
Next: Etch-a-Sketch: A New Era for the GOP


Oh, come now, Dana, get it straight. This is really more like Battleship than Etch-a-Sketch.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 18, 2009 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I prefer excruciatingly slow and painfully public grinding by the wheels of justice for all of them. Oh, and the garnishment of all royalties and advance for any books or other post-Bush White House remunerations, to be given to charitable organizations serving those wounded or killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their families.

Posted by: ScienceTim | May 18, 2009 12:19 PM | Report abuse

John Ashcroft/ Nudity- he couldn't even handle a nude statue at the DOJ.

John Yoo/ Dietary manipulation- he is a fatty.

Douglas Feith/ Facial slap- according to Tommy Franks he is the dumbest man on the planet and dumb people can benefit from facial slaps.

David Addington/ Waterboarding- Getting Cheney's Cheney to admit waterboarding is torture would be a coup.

Michael Chertoff/ Sleep deprivation- he looks like a vampire.

Alberto Gonzales/ Confinement with insects
- because he is a cockroach.

Jay Bybee/ Abdominal slap - we are running out of good ones

Michael Mukasey/ Walling- don't know why, just sounds fun

Posted by: Mauckjw | May 18, 2009 12:32 PM | Report abuse

Hey Dana, Phillip Swagel was on Bloomberg last week and was asked about your July 4 piece on him. Tom Keene (the interviewer) calls it an all time great Milbank piece but Swagel impugns your "questionable journalistic ethics". Start at about 11:30 in.

Posted by: Mauckjw | May 18, 2009 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Alberto Gonzales should have his hair mussed up and then be forced to look at it in a mirror for 15 or 20 hours.

Posted by: pdech | May 18, 2009 12:41 PM | Report abuse

Put them all in a room with the loved ones of the innocent prisoners who were abducted and tortured.

Posted by: solsticebelle | May 18, 2009 12:44 PM | Report abuse

"Harsh interrogation techniques for the Limbaughians"

Rove - a diet of rice cakes and water for three weeks. He would die of starvation.

Limbaugh - 40 hours of a pornographic film festival without his "little blue helpers"

O'Reilly - tape his big fat mouth shut for a week

Dobson - a gay grandson

Hannity - Wanda Sykes already has this one covered

Cheney - of course, waterboarding

Gringrinch - no Big Macs for a month al la the Rove torture

Bush - three consecutive SAT tests

Krauthammer - three weeks vacation in Palestine with no wheel-chair ramps.

Gerson - twists, tangles and sudden breaks in Hiatt's puppet-master strings

Cardinals Law, Mahoney and Rivera - a large mob of abused young alter assistants with broomsticks

Posted by: coloradodog | May 18, 2009 1:13 PM | Report abuse

Cut to the chase - waterboarding for all. For later rounds - since repeated application is apparently ok - just move on down the list till they admit pot should be legal (goes to show the tortured will admit anything even things you know they don't believe).

Posted by: sosilly1 | May 18, 2009 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to be the spoil-sport, but torture is just plain wrong whether it is applied to terrorists, maybe-terrorists or ethically challenged lawyers and politicians. I want justice, not retribution.

Posted by: tfspa | May 18, 2009 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I think being stuck in confinement with insects would be worse than water-boarding.

Posted by: alex35332 | May 18, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

All these patriots deserve a medal for helping to protect and defend the USA. Take that you pre 9/11 anti-Americans!

Posted by: gwalter1 | May 18, 2009 1:25 PM | Report abuse

I would think ten or fifteen years in a "Real American" prison with 24 hr video surveillance available on the Web would be entertaining for me and educational for them. And double spacing to fill column space is so high school.

Posted by: KennyBoy | May 18, 2009 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Waterboard all of them 138 times.
Repeat as necessary.

Posted by: JC505 | May 18, 2009 1:36 PM | Report abuse

as long as people with a platform such as yourself continue to reduce this to something as "those on the left" wanting "vengeance" - rather than as Americans greatly troubled by the rule of law and then use your platform to make it a game then you are seriously part of the problem.

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 18, 2009 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Exactly right hohandy.
The "left" are vengeance seekers for wanting the law applied? He is a dipsh@t trapped in a bubble.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 2:10 PM | Report abuse


Your post might make sense if they took over on September 12th. But if i remember right and correct me if im wrong THEY WERE IN CHARGE on September 11th, and not only that they had been in office 8 months and had numerous briefings about the threat al-queda was to this country. So explain how they kept us safe? Oh and another thing to chew on, in March 93 the WTC was bombed, after that there was not another attack in this country till September 11th, so does Clinton deserve a medal for keeping us safe 8 years??????????

Posted by: rharring | May 18, 2009 2:39 PM | Report abuse

"Loved ones of the innocent prisoners?" I don't think we picked up somebody's sweet grandfather who owned a flower shop.

However "innocent" these guys might be, I bet you still wouldn't want them living in your neighborhood--terrorists, Taliban fighters.

It's possible that the wives of some of these guys are dreading the day when they come home. I actually feel bad for their families when they are released. I have a hard time imagining anybody who took to the hills to fight for Osama is anything like Ward Cleaver.

Debate torture in the proper context. Don't be ridiculous about things.

Posted by: Wallenstein | May 18, 2009 2:43 PM | Report abuse


You're absolutely right. Dana Milbank is nothing more than a mildly creative provocateur, WaPo's tabloid surrogate. He'd fan any flame to manufacture a story, and this one is no better or worse than his previous attempts.

Best to ignore him.

Posted by: kjohnson3 | May 18, 2009 2:46 PM | Report abuse

Still thinking about the rest of them, Milbank, but given how skinny Chertoff is, a liquid meal replacement would end up being murder, not torture, for him.

Posted by: ktartiste | May 18, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

These approved interogation techniques were the WORSE we did??? That's it?? Heck I thought you said we tortured them. Hey if you want worse.. try a week in a Marine boot camp. Or going to through an NFL training camp one summer.. Or being a contestant on "Fear Factor" or "Surviver". All I know is tell Americans they can win a big cash prize if they have this stuff done to them.. and people would be lined up around the block...

Posted by: sovine08 | May 18, 2009 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Since when is ENFORCING THE LAW vengence?
Are we a nation of laws?

Posted by: TOMHERE | May 18, 2009 3:13 PM | Report abuse

As the census is soon to start I think every interview or questionnaire should come with a contract that every adult in the US should have to sign. It would then be kept on file until their death.

If they support the use of "enhanced interrogation" methods for non-Americans then they are agreeing that those same methods are appropriate techniques that can be used on Americans as well...themselves specifically. They get to mark the box as appropriate to their personal views.

What they are then agreeing to is should they be detained for any reason by law enforcement or any judicial function that those methods can be used on themselves. If they have children under the age of 18 they can be used on them as well. So should they be reported for suspected spouse or child abuse, or be picked up on suspicion for any felony, misdemeanor, etc, these techniques will be used to elicit the truth. Their confessions during the enhanced interrogations will be sufficient to incarcerate them for an indeterminate amount of time without a jury trial. No other evidence will be necessary as their confessions are sufficient. In the specific case you identified here I don`t think we need to identify a method with a person as there is sufficient evidence out there based on their own admissions that they violated US laws and international treaties to at least bring them in for questioning.....using of course the methods they all agree were appropriate for non-Americans.

No one need worry though.....our prison systems are much better than what we have provided for our foreign detainees so they should be extremely happy with that.

The added bonus will be the extreme reduction in caseloads on our court system. Prison population might grow but there seems to be an awful lot of folks that believe that tent cities are good enough for prisoners. I think FEMA cottage type barracks would be sufficient myself. Perhaps this could be another question on the census. Just seems this census is coming along at a really good time.

It would be very interesting to see what percentage of the population sees these enhanced techniques as appropriate (ala the most recent "survey" that was announced last week) when they are looking at the possibility it could happen to them or theirs.

Posted by: KarenLS | May 18, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Wait just a minute. We don't get to jump out and cry "Boo!" to Deadeye Dick or threaten Piano Legs Rice with the dish rack? Or put Dandy Don Rumsfeld in the Comfy Chair? That's not right.

Posted by: hlabadie | May 18, 2009 3:20 PM | Report abuse

I agree with those who are calling out reporters for describing a call for the rule of law as "left wing vengence". If we, as Americans, permit all future Presidents to torture anyone, everywhere, any time, all the time then we have lost our Constitution.
This is not some partisan attempt to win elections. It is an attempt to bring America home to her true principles. And, if we do not have an investigation and an examination of just what happened and then let the chips fall where they may, well, we will be known as the generation that let our Constitution become what George W. Bush declared it was some years ago, "just a piece of paper".

Posted by: cms1 | May 18, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse

If we were to follow polling data then women wouldn't be voting, separate but equal would still be in place, and well...most other forms of bigotry would be condoned by our government.
Is there an amendment that I don't know about in the Constitution that says "Polling Data shall determine all laws irrespective of what laws are already recorded?" Not that the Constitution matters anymore but still...

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 3:35 PM | Report abuse

One more thing-
Remember when Dana had that indignant piece regarding how he was prohibited from access to Obama's Campaign Manager's discussion at Georgetown? "How awful!" he lamented, "they are violating the freedom of the press!"
Dana, using your reasoning, you were probably just on a quest for vengeance just like the "left" in this instance. Obviously trying to uphold the Constitution and the Rule of Law is an exercise in "scapegoating" (thanks Broder) or a depraved quest for vengeance (that would be you Milbank).

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 3:40 PM | Report abuse

Well, forced nudity is out for all of them. Let's not punish the interrigators.

Posted by: terryolson | May 18, 2009 4:45 PM | Report abuse


Try educating yourself.

I realize that might be difficult.

But start with this:

Oh, and to Dana Milbank - ITA with the other posters who have pointed out that those on the left want JUSTICE.

Why do YOU call it "vengeance?" Hmmmmm?

Could it be you are a right wing shill?

Posted by: solsticebelle | May 18, 2009 5:03 PM | Report abuse


You sent me a link to an *opinion* piece. I hope for your sake this is not what you feed your mind with.

Nevertheless, this essay states something like "reality that many of the detainees were innocent of any *substantial* wrongdoing". I don't think anyone disputes that some detainees were but minor cogs in a vast machine of evil. Your "innocent" detainees are merely lower level warmongers, but warmongers none the less. Warmongering by any race, gender, or nationality is inexcusable to me, and should be to you as well. I don't exclude our own country from that judgment.

There probably aren't any nice people (Americans or the prisoners) anywhere in Guantanamo Bay. That's a fact.

Posted by: Wallenstein | May 18, 2009 5:38 PM | Report abuse

Judge Bybee's career has already slammed into a wall, so cramping him into a dead end judicial assignment, perhaps hearing complaints from detainees about not getting enough fiber in their meals would be appropriate for him.

Alice Fisher should get a Face Hold with Botox, until she looks like Joan Rivers.

Al Gonzales should have to assume the position will the wall grab, as he assumed the position of Attorney General.

John Yoo really needs to have someone get his attention and then slap some sense into him.

Michael Mukassey should be bugged, since he likes bugging people so much. Maybe an earwig could be played over and over for him.

Posted by: hlabadie | May 18, 2009 5:55 PM | Report abuse

I don't comment very often, but Dana, this is a ridiculous path to take. It's harder and harder to appreciate your serious journalistic capabilities and this just substantiates that you want to be left-leaning entertainment. I would never approve torture (and fortunately have never had to make decisions regarding it) and have no faith in what torture delivers. But you sound like you really just want to be Jon Stewart or writing SNL skits. If that's the case, spare us and don't pretend to be a journallist.

Posted by: fromIllinois2 | May 18, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse


I guess you don't know who Lawrence Wilkerson is, huh?

Didn't think so.

Posted by: solsticebelle | May 18, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

not only are they linked to this case,
but high members of the bush administration are linked to this one.
remember ENRON?
here you go:

Posted by: huj534op | May 18, 2009 7:13 PM | Report abuse

From the Concise Oxford Dictionary:
fatuous /"fatjU@s/
· adj. silly and pointless.
– DERIVATIVES fatuity n. (pl. fatuities). fatuously adv. fatuousness n.
– ORIGIN C17: from L. fatuus ‘foolish’ + -ous.

Posted by: hellslittlestangel1 | May 18, 2009 7:32 PM | Report abuse

obama has sent drones into pakistan violating pakistan's airspace killing innocent civilians...
when will obama stand trial for those murders...
a valid question to those that seek to prosecute officials of a prior administration...
whats done to them, will be done to obama...

Posted by: DwightCollins | May 18, 2009 7:38 PM | Report abuse

I would say, have Hollywood make a movie and show all of them how the al Qaeda terrorist would have liked the country and our cities to look like if they had finished what they started. We still can not get the other sensitive reports describing the successes of the interrogation but that would take all the fun out of your attacks on the Bush administration. I know that would be a good form of torture for me to have to witness more 9/11’s. Have fun while you can children.

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 9:49 PM | Report abuse

obama has sent drones into pakistan violating pakistan's airspace killing innocent civilians...
when will obama stand trial for those murders...
a valid question to those that seek to prosecute officials of a prior administration...
whats done to them, will be done to obama...

Posted by: DwightCollins | May 18, 2009 7:38 PM

Sure we can do this..
BUT you and the NEOCONS are first in line with your PROVEN Criminal Acts..

Once convicted you can Practice Partial Birth Abortion in Jail with you fellow inmates..LIKE Senator Craig..!!

Fei Hu

Posted by: Fei_Hu | May 18, 2009 9:50 PM | Report abuse

as long as people with a platform such as yourself continue to reduce this to something as "those on the left" wanting "vengeance" - rather than as Americans greatly troubled by the rule of law and then use your platform to make it a game then you are seriously part of the problem.

Posted by: hohandy1 | May 18, 2009 2:04 PM

I agree with hohandy1

Dana, I have an idea - why don't you poke fun at all of those "journalists" in the establishment media who are reduced to making absurd arguments in order to try to convince readers why the rule of law shouldn't be followed when war crimes are committed. I'm sure you could come up with some really funny examples and if you can't I'm sure we'd all be willing to give you plenty of suggestions.

Posted by: pmorlan1 | May 18, 2009 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Your column unfortunately trivializes the position of people like me who, rather than wanting "vengeance" simply demand that anyone (regardless of whether a Bush Administration member) who violated federal statutes making it a felony to torture federal prisoners should be prosecuted for their crimes. This is not merely a demand that federal law be applied without fear or favor to anyone who has apparently violated the law, but it takes into account that one of the pertinent federal laws prohibiting torture specifically requires our Government to investigate and prosecute any reasonably suspected act of torture within our Government's jurisdiction. It is not "vengeance" to demand that our federal criminal laws be applied to known criminal offenses -- as, for example, in the case of Khalid Sheik Mohammed whom we recently learned was tortured (waterboarded) 183 times in March 2003 by several Government officials answerable to high Government leaders including Commander-In-Chief and President George W. Bush. Those of us who truly believe that nobody is above the law and that our Constitution necessarily imposes a rule of law demand that federal criminal statutes be applied to all culpable persons from the lowliest member of the Armed Forces to the President of the United States. So far as I am concerned, that demand has nothing whatsoever to do with "vengeance."

Posted by: rlyoung311 | May 18, 2009 10:06 PM | Report abuse

I'm sorry if I offended anyone. I just never knew that war had rules of law. Some one did not explain that to the terrorist. Or, maybe they could just care less about the "rule of law". All they are intrested in is Sharia law for everybody. I think that would fit your agenda.

The New United Socialist States of Euromerica welcomes the CHANGES from comrade Hussein Obama and his Democrats.

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 10:15 PM | Report abuse

Now Sharia law would be exactly what you could live with. If a woman shows her face she can be beaten in the streets. Steal somthing and watch the hand get lopped off. Now that is torture in my opinion. Keep playing in you kindergarden because this reality will change your mind about your "rule of law".

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 10:22 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Milbank:
Some topics are not funny.

Posted by: Lamentations | May 18, 2009 10:30 PM | Report abuse

longbow 65:
You have no intellectual backing for your arguments. You can only resort to your Fox News talking points where branding someone a socialist is a surefire way to win an argument. You probably think socialism is the devil incarnate because everyone should be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps dammit, this is America. Do you know about social stratification, prejudice, any of the numerous obstacles that many Americans face when attempting social mobility. Heaven forbid there exist some safety net-that would be too empathetic (you know the code for activist judges). You know nothing of this nation's history.

Furthermore, why do you care if a terrorist doesn't obey the rule of law during a war? You think the United States should behave just like the terrorists? Well throw your American exceptionalism right out the window then and the principles for which this nation was founded. You would burn this country to the ground in your quest for vengeance.

Be honest with yourself, you don't believe in reason but hell you'll allow yourself to be motivated by your own prejudices and hatreds any day of the week.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 10:32 PM | Report abuse

How can everybody be so blind. The Bush administration did everything they could to conduct war within the “rules of law”. They advised Congress of their intentions. They received approval to conduct military interrogations of enemy combatants and treated them as foreign agents conducting espionage on U.S. soil. During wartime, if convicted they should have been shot and I regret they were not. We had no human intelligence to work from and the terrorist were not offering us the information we needed. I all looks so simple to me but I guess I am not as smart as everyone else concerning war. Where are the morals in having people mass murdered? 3,000 Americans in one day? Pearl Harbor only lost 2,500 in a massive sneak attack by the Japanese. The present administration is driving a wedge between citizens for political reasons and when the motive is known maybe we will have some real changes.

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 10:47 PM | Report abuse

Has anyone considered the kind of tangled web our lawmakers are gonna have to weave to prosecute future war criminals? These rubes have left a legacy that will haunt this country for decades.

The glib tone of the left wing, and the fist pounding outrage of the right wing just continues to assure us that justice will never really be served. It's just not as important to you people as your extremist ideologies.

Posted by: tmcproductions2004 | May 18, 2009 10:52 PM | Report abuse

I am really not much of an intellect as you may can tell. I hear that used a lot by those that seem to feel a little ahead of the pack but I have also witnessed these intellectuals steal this country blind. The intellects running major corporations and industry just have no imagination and they are all going broke. The intellects managing the financial institutions have taken all the money and left the debt. I believe this country could use a little more common sense instead of all the intellectual help we have had in the past. It seemed to thrive with common labor for many years until everyone got so smart. Just my opinion.

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 10:58 PM | Report abuse

Having a lawyer draft a memo that makes torture okay is not the rule of law. A complicit Congress that approves whatever inhuman programs the Executive Branch is pushing is not the rule of law.
The rule of law is based on our Constitution and the Treaties that our government enters into. Do you understand now what the rule of law is? It means that we will follow the laws that our country has created. The Executive Branch, creating new rules to further its illegal wartime purposes, is subverting the rule of law.
Furthermore, of course I believe in a response to the 9-11 attacks. But I believe in a response that is grounded in fact, not in some depraved political agenda.
There is no political wedge agenda here. It is both parties who are in power attempting to cover their own asses for their own complicity and support of torture-an illegal and un-American activity.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 11:01 PM | Report abuse

I totally agree with you that supposed "intellectuals" have robbed this country blind. A Harvard MBA appears to be a get-out-of-jail-free card for any soulless individual to swindle and steal and get away without accountability. But that is exactly what torture prosecutions would aim to address. It would address this ridiculous deference that we pay to the powerful who use their positions to further their own agendas! Your agenda and mine are actually completely connected. Hedgefund swindlers, corporate CEOs, and political leaders should be punished for violating the law-not be allowed to be held above it.
By allowing our leaders to torture and get away with it, you are allowing the very same people to continue to operate without accountability when they break the law.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse

If you believe the motives were self serving, you need to go back to school. Everyone that made those decisions knew they would not be popular and there would be repercussions. What may have happened if they had not made them, I for one will not try to second guess. I will leave that to the intellects and sayers.

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 11:10 PM | Report abuse

Torture is:
"any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession”

This is what I wanted to know. Any interrogation for information where the suspect receives severe physical or mental pain is considered torture.

Who decides the determining factor of severe and is it relative to the individual’s ability to resist physical or mental pain or is it developed by the weakest or most timid mental subjects tested?

This is the only point I am trying to make. If this is made and followed as a rule of law that seems to be the consensus on this site, all people must be subjected to the same treatment. This will effectively eliminate any harsh interrogation of any type all together, country wide. I say again, “be careful what you wish for!”

Will this rule also stand for enemy combatants, those committing espionage and mass murder? Will you concience still be OK with it if it is your family murdered?

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 11:17 PM | Report abuse

I am currently in school and it is terrible haha.
There have been several credible arguments made that their motives were self-serving, i.e. Blackwater, Halliburton, etc. which are all particularly damning.
The main point, however, is that the motivation does not matter. If Bush wanted to root out the 9-11 perpetrators then that is fine with me. But to wage war on Iraq when there was no link between the two? This makes no sense. Beyond not making sense do you know how many American lives this has cost us? And do not even try to put forth the faux humanitarian argument that Saddam was bad so we should have just knocked him out. We seem to ignore Darfur with relative ease as well as countless other human rights violations.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Your questions regarding what is torture are appropriately posed. Doubtless, a judge would be able to determine this through a variety of methods: "legislative history, regulations, definitions sections," would all be indicators of what can be considered torture. But this sort of inquiry would only be engaged in with nebulous situations. In the case of waterboarding-I think we can agree to call a spade a spade. Sounds like a slam dunk in terms of causing intense physical or psychological pain.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 18, 2009 11:23 PM | Report abuse

Now who was it that was tortured and who was interrogated? I keep getting that mixed up. Torture usually leaves permanent body damage such as blow torches to the surface of the stomach or water torture used by the Japanese in WW2 where water is poured into the stomach with a funnel until the body cells explode from osmosis causing excruciating pain. Crucifixion was a favorite torture of the Romans as well burning at the stake by Puritains and drawing and quartering the body by the English. Iron Maiden and many other forms exist such as the rack that pulls the bones from their sockets used during the middle ages. I believe some of the Transylvania nobility used impaling on long stakes. People of the Middle East are still very proficient in real slow painful torture. If the suspect is still alive after a torture session, someone is not doing it right. A country spanking would be torture to many writing these comments but someone needs to really define torture for me.

If anything like this occurred in the United States of America, then I will be first in the line to prosecute the offenders but what I heard from the memos more closely resembled crude college hazing or elite military training or scare tactics to gather needed information to stop closely guarded plans to mount additional attacks in the U.S. Nothing I read seemed to produce long term damage or maybe there were other memos describing real torture.

I will have to agree that no harsh interrogation would be a pleasant experience but any information gathered would be welcomed if it prevented American murders. Anyone that thinks the harsh interrogation techniques used is considered torture has had a very comfortable life and knows nothing about what our enemy is capable of. I would have preferred each and every proven terrorist been executed on the spot rather than allowed the opportunity of ever going free. That is the only mistake by the Bush administration with regard to the known captured mass murderers and those conspiring to mass murder

Posted by: longbow65 | May 18, 2009 11:33 PM | Report abuse

In answer to your question-waterboarding is torture. And 100s were killed in our black prisons. So yeah, I know medieval torture sounds great and scary and all-but having water poured all over your face so that you think you are drowning (and could possibly drown if done incorrectly)is pretty awful. Ask any SERE training soldier who has endured it (Jessee Ventura for example) and they will tell you just how awful it is. Better yet, try it yourself since you have lived such a manly lifestyle.

Posted by: CypressTree | May 19, 2009 12:01 AM | Report abuse

I see you are another pundit saying it's 'the Left' looking for 'vengeance'.Seeking justice for treason and war crimes is hardly vengeance Dana.

Posted by: par4 | May 19, 2009 8:01 AM | Report abuse

I guess if I was a saboteur, terrorist or mass murderer caught conspiring to commit espionage, I would expect worse than having water poured on my face and being scared into talking. Get real child. These people play for keeps.

Posted by: longbow651 | May 19, 2009 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Mukassey - definitely waterboarding!

Senate Judiciary deprived all of America of [potential] clarity on subject of waterboarding as torture.

A brief recess during Michael Mukasey hearing to locate a qualified SERE instructor and move C-SPAN cameras for appropriate close-ups could have been ultimately instructive for both public and Mr. Mukasey - who couldn't bring
himself to offer a legal opinion on waterboarding as torture.

Now we'll all have to wait and see whether cowardly self-interest or personal integrity wins out re Hannity's volunteering to be waterboarded for a charity benefiting US military .

Posted by: jerswing | May 19, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

David Addington should be interrogated using the "full body waxing" method

Posted by: mastrick | May 19, 2009 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Mukassey - definitely waterboarding!

Senate Judiciary deprived all of America of [potential] clarity on subject of waterboarding as torture.

A brief recess during Michael Mukasey hearing to locate a qualified SERE instructor and move C-SPAN cameras for appropriate close-ups could have been ultimately instructive for both public and Mr. Mukasey - who couldn't bring himself to offer a legal opinion on waterboarding as torture.

Now we'll all have to wait and see whether cowardly self-interest or personal integrity wins out re Hannity's volunteering to be waterboarded for a charity benefiting US military .

Posted by: jerswing | May 19, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

I believe making this into a tourist attraction would help sell this idea.

Therefore, twelve old style stocks should be erected at the center of the village, the National Mall, with these twelve Bush Error lawyers clamped in for awhile, let's say, the length of time from the start of Bush's war in Iraq until our last soldier leaves.

Now, I'm not a sadistic person, so they'd only be on display during daylight hours, being able to shuffle back for the night in their leg irons to the Gitmo-styled cages that will be erected right behind the stocks.

And there should be a whole lot of pigeons, with pigeon feeding allowed close to these stocks, with the twelve Bush lawyers being hosed off every now and then. And it would be stipulated that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney could take the place of one of their attorneys, to give them a break from the stocks, as a sign of Christian solidarity and suffering, which we all know Bush and Cheney would gladly offer to do.

Hey, I bet we could retire the national budget deficit, or put a pretty good dent in it, if people were charged a fee to get into this National Mall attraction. It could be billed as a history lesson showing how some of our colonialist founders dealt with miscreants.

Posted by: wizard2000 | May 20, 2009 12:47 AM | Report abuse


Sorry mate that's the whole point there have been no facts established.

Posted by: bridson | May 24, 2009 7:52 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company