Thursday, November 01, 2007

On Waterboarding

Michael Mukasey's confirmation hearing before the Senate Judicial Committee has been making the headlines. Two important things stand to be reckoned with the vote confirmation of Mukasey:

  1. Executive power concerning internal affair records.
  2. Torture
Much of the discussion has been focused on Mukasey's view of "torture" versus "coercive interrogation." To be frank, neither are approved of by the Geneva Conventions but the administration cares more about the domestic treatment of its policy rather than the international view, as shown by previous statements.

Many people in the administration are desperately trying to frame the exercise known as "waterboarding" as coercive interrogation used only in the "ticking time-bomb" scenarios. The ridiculous phrase refers to the catch-22 of interrogating a suspected criminal: The government can only approve "torture" to get evidence in regards to a "ticking time-bomb" situation. The logic is preposterous, unless you assume a terrorist attack is happening at any moment. Of course, this also leads to an eroding of civil rights and a concentration of power, but you know the old saying:

Every central government worships uniformity: uniformity relieves it from inquiry into an infinity of details.

All those who seek to destroy the liberties of a democratic nation ought to know that war is the surest and shortest means to accomplish it.

--Alexis de Tocqueville

To understand the obvious cruel and inhumane punishment being forwarded, here's a link to producer voluntarily submitting himself to waterboarding. Anyone concerned with the debate concerning human rights and torture should watch it.

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