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04/20/2009

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First we have to agree on the definition of torture.... somehow, I doubt we will reach that agreement.

Here, let me turn this into an easy yes or no question.

Clearly, those who support the Bush Administration's policy believe there is, at least, an ambiguity in the law. The ambiguity might be the definition of torture, or it might be the extent of Executive Branch power. So, to make this easy, let's look at a real world example.

On Bush Administration orders,the CIA waterboarded Khalid Sheik Mohammad 183 times in a 30 day period. No court heard the case against KSM, and KSM wasn't allowed to argue in his own defense. The President (or his designee) ordered it done, and it was done.

Do you think the law should be rewritten to unambiguously make that legal?

Do you think the law should be rewritten to unambiguously make that legal?

No, I don't. Because it's already legal. You're trying to ascribe rights to the detainees that they do not have. You want them brought into court and given trials like they are criminals. They are not criminals, they are enemy combatants. They took up arms against America and freedom. Do I think the executive branch has the power to deal with enemy combatants outside of our courts of law? Yes I do, and history backs us up on that one.

That's a cop out, Frank. There's serious disagreement as to whether it's legal. I'm asking if you would clear up that disagreement. It's a yes or no question. Don't be a chicken. Answer it.

Reverse the question and ask the Democratic majority if they will make what you call torture explicitly illegal and will O'Bama sign the law. More to the point, why didn't they do this already and why aren't you encouraging them to do it?

I can't speak for anyone but myself. I think it's explicitly illegal now, but if it would clear up the ambiguity, I'd pass additional legislation.

I note that you didn't answer the question.

I'm not a chicken, I said yes, that it is already legal. If we accept your premise, then yes,congress should pass a law expressly stating that water boarding is not torture and is legal.

Thanks, Frank. I'm not sure how you can come to the conclusion that waterboarding isn't torture, especially performed 183 times over the course of a month. I think if it were done to, say, a downed American flier you'd think it wasn't so acceptable. But you're not a chicken.

Well, while we're at it, let's throw this into the mix

"CIA Confirms: Waterboarding 9/11 Mastermind Led to Info that Aborted 9/11-Style Attack on Los Angeles"

And to answer your other question, no, I wouldn't like the fact that it was being done to a downed American flier. However, I think most American POWs have a lot worse things to worry about than some water on the face, as John McCain can attest.

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