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What should of been a major news event last week, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice actually argued that their use of “torture” was not “illegal” because things authorized by the President are, by definition, “not illegal”. (eerily reminiscent of Nixon’s, “When the President does it, that means that it is not illegal.“) No surprise coming from an administration that contained more former Nixon proteges than Granola has nuts.
 

Let us not overlook the fact Bush’s own Secretary of State just implicated him personally as authorizing the use of torture on detainees in U.S. custody. Not Cheney. Not some DoA lackey or CIA official. President Bush authorized the use of torture (in and of itself, not exactly news, since the FBI announced Bush himself authorized the use of torture way back in December 2004). Cenk (pronounced “Jenk”) Uygur of “The Young Turks” broke the story when a Stanford University video surfaced last Thursday of students questioning the former Secretary on the legality of torture. Cenk caught the “Nixonian” comment, but my attention was drawn to Condi’s clear admission that President Bush himself authorized the use of torture, something former Bush Administration members and Republican apologists have been working hard to deny for years now (and let’s not forget Bush himself denying the use of torture).
 


 

Let’s do some math: “does A=B?” i.e. “Is Waterboarding torture?” According to these people, Yes, absolutely:
 

President Obama: Waterboarding is torture

 

Iraq War supporter Christopher Hitchens submits himself to be waterboarded

 

Former CIA agent Bob Baer, says “Yes, no question”.

 

Republican Minority Leader says the Bush Administration was engaging in “torture”.

 

Okay, so we’ve established “A=B”. Democrats, Independents, CIA agents trained in the technique, and Republicans all agree “Waterboarding=torture”.

Next: “Does B=C?” i.e.: “Is torture a crime?”

Well, it was when we prosecuted… and executed… Japanese soldiers for doing it to American troops during WWII. And now the International Community is weighing in.
 

Canadian lawyer says Canada is legally obligated to investigate Bush for War Crimes

 

A UN investigation concluded the Bush Administration was torturing prisoners at Gitmo. The International Red Cross says the Bush Administration engaged in the use of torture, “a flagrant violation of international law.”

Spain, a member of Bush’s “coalition of the willing”, felt obligated to open an investigation into whether or not the Bush Administration used torture on Gitmo detainees.

So the international consensus is unequivocal: “B=C”: “Torture is a crime”.
 

Next we have a couple of variables: “1. Did Bush authorize the use of waterboarding?” and “2. Was our ‘waterboarding’ somehow different from so-called normal criminal waterboarding?”

I call these “variables” because you can not dispute the first two proofs (“A=B” & “B=C”). The only defense Bush-apologists have left it to argue these two variables. Either Bush was “out of the loop” or “stopped short of authorizing (yet another) crime” But there really is nothing to argue. They waterboarded. Period. Only the most fringe neocons might still be arguing “no one was ever waterboarded.” If it never took place at all, they’d be using that as their defense. They’re not. To the contrary. When President Obama released “the Bybee Torture Memos” (pdf) last month, pro-torture advocates went on a publicity binge arguing that “revealing our torture techniques” aides the enemy.
 

Former NSA Director Hayden says “Torture saved lives.” (total BS btw)

 

So, no question we engaged in the use of torture. Strike variable one.

Second variable: “Was it the same kind of waterboarding?” Well, there’s really only one way to waterboard. And if it didn’t actually do what waterboarding does, it would be “easier to resist”, “less effective” and “take longer”… which flies completely in the face of their “ticking timebomb” defense for the use of torture. The only way to know for sure if the waterboarding we used was the same waterboarding classified as “torture”, we would need actual video footage of a prisoner being “interrogated” using the technique, and that footage, which did exist at one point, was conveniently destroyed by the CIA when the CIA’s own Inspector General classified torture as illegal in 2004.

We may not have the footage, but Prosecutors would call their act of destroying the tapes, “Consciousness of guilt”. Translation, if you did nothing wrong, then there’d be no need to destroy the evidence. I think even without the footage, we can safely conclude the “interrogation methods” used were indeed what we would classify as “illegal torture”.
 

So, now we have our equation: Waterboarding=torture. Torture=warcrime. Bush authorized the use of torture (Condi argued that what Bush authorized “wasn’t torture” (variable 2), but clearly suggests Bush himself authorized it). So then, how is former President George W. Bush not guilty of warcrimes? How does one not prosecute a war criminal?

Countdown’s Kieth Olberman also found former Secretary Rice’s comments disturbing and worthy of investigation. We’ll see, but the fact Rice’s videotaped confession was not worthy of even the slightest mention on ANY of the Sunday talkshows yesterday… I’m not holding my breath.
 

PS: To any Freepers out there reading this wondering why anyone would be concerned about what we do to “terrorists” that want to “destroy America”, I direct you to my letter to Fox News at the bottom of my April 20th column. Among those reasons: “torture” serves as a great recruiting/radicalizing tool for our enemies, and combatants afraid of capture are more likely to fight to the death, prolonging wars, costing lives and tax dollars.

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