HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Akron Univ. School of Law

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Tuesday, November 6, 2007

What is Torture?

Brian Leiter's blog has a review of hypothetical responses from the Bush Administration to the question of whether the rack constitutes torture.   Some examples:

Mukasey: I haven’t been read into the details of the Rack, and I
understand that these details are classified. I am firmly opposed to
torture, torture is illegal, but I do not know whether the Rack is
torture. To comment further would be to expose sincere and loyal
Inquisitors to the possibility of retro-active condemnation.

Bush: I am not going to give aid to our enemies by disclosing details of
our interrogation techniques. But if we do expose detainees to the Rack
it is not torture, because we do not torture.

Cheney: A little stretching never hurt anybody. I understand it’s
actually recommended before exercising. . . .

Gonzalez: I cannot recall what the Rack was. Nor do I have any
recollection about whether I ever discussed it with the President. The
testimony of some that they heard me mention the Rack in a meeting on
March 23rd -- a meeting which I do not remember --may have been a
confusion of Rack with Iraq.

Daniel Levin: I cannot say since I have never been exposed to the Rack.
I do have an appointment next Friday for a 50 minute session in Seville.

I find nothing funny about the current waterboarding debate but this shows how ridiculous the Administration's response to torture has become.

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/healthlawprof_blog/2007/11/what-is-torture.html

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