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NNN0LHI Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Feb-09-08 04:18 PM
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U.S. prosecuted its own soldiers for war crimes during the Spanish-American for using waterboarding
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Mukasey Evasive On Waterboarding

By Chris Gelken

08 February, 2008

Americas top law enforcement official, Attorney General Michael Mukasey, on Wednesday appeared uncomfortable and evasive under a barrage of tough questions from a U.S. Senate committee investigating charges that the United States has committed, and continues to commit war crimes in its war on terror.

Grilled on the question of whether the interrogation technique of waterboarding was considered to be torture under U.S. law, Mukasey offered only vague and ambiguous answers.

I thought it was really disgraceful, Ed Spannaus, Legal Affairs Editor of Executive Intelligence Review told PressTV in an interview. Every military lawyer in the United States knows that waterboarding is torture, theres no question about it. They know that this is illegal under U.S. law; this is illegal under international law. So for the Attorney General to be unable to give a clear statement of waterboarding as illegal was really quite astounding. But the reason he wont say it is obvious. If he were to admit that this is illegal he would then be obligated to prosecute those who engaged in the policy, but more importantly those who developed the policy in the first place. snip

Waterboarding is a technique that simulates the effect of drowning.

Spannaus said there is no defense under U.S. law for torture, specifically waterboarding, under any circumstances.

At the Nuremburg War Crimes Trials of the Nazis we rejected the defense that either I was following orders or that it was authorized or that it was necessary to do. There is no exception in the anti torture law in the U.S.; there is no exception in the Nuremburg principles where you can say it depends on the circumstances, which is what the Attorney General stated today.

Spannaus pointed out that for over a hundred years the United States has prosecuted waterboarding as a war crime.

In the Spanish-American War in 1898 the U.S. prosecuted its own soldiers for using this, considering it a war crime. After World War Two the United States prosecuted Japanese soldiers for war crimes involving the use of waterboarding. So theres no question under U.S. law, U.S. history and U.S. military doctrine that waterboarding is unlawful and illegal under U.S. law. So this administration is just trying to dance around the question and leave a loophole so it can engage in practices which everybody knows, especially the military, are illegal and constitute a war crime.

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