February 4, 2008
Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey's waffling over whether waterboarding is torture has left the United States stumbling down one long slippery slope. The medieval practice is illegal and morally indefensible. Mukasey's twisted arguments in defense of waterboarding only serve to further diminish America's standing in the world. And for what? The effectiveness of torture in obtaining intelligence is questionable at best. It produces false confessions and undercuts legal interrogation and intelligence gathering techniques that actually work.
March 11, 2008
President Bush doesn't believe that American civilians are also willing to sacrifice their lives to uphold the values that have served as the emblem of this nation for more than 230 years. If he did, he would know that millions of Americans who don't want to die in a repeat of 9/11 also don't want their country to torture people - even if it's in an attempt to stop a terrorist plot. These are people who grew up being taught that torture is un-American; that it's what happens to people in despotic nations - not in the land of the free.
March 1, 2010
RE PATRICE Batysky's letter on Dick Cheney: I was reading the DN with my coffee and cereal and almost threw up! How soon you and too many other Americans have forgotten Sept. 11. If waterboarding or any other method gets answers or tips that save one innocent life, so be it. You write, "Yes, they're terrorists and most assuredly do not play by the rules. " Are you kidding? These terrorists would not only not think twice about blowing a plane out of the air with any American on board, but would love it. How soon you have forgotten the images of 9/11.
November 6, 2007 |
Sen. Arlen Specter sought further assurances yesterday from attorney general nominee Michael B. Mukasey on his views about the interrogation tactic of waterboarding before a Senate Judiciary Committee vote today on the nomination. Specter (R., Pa.) spoke to Mukasey by telephone yesterday morning and, satisfied with what he had heard, said he intended to vote for the nominee. Mukasey is expected to win the approval of all nine Republicans on the committee and at least two Democrats, sending his nomination to the full Senate.
February 18, 2008 |
If you're one of the people who couldn't quite follow all the steps in the intricate little folk dance the Bush administration performed around the torture issue recently, don't feel left out. Ostensibly, all the back-and-forth was about the legality of waterboarding, an ancient form of torture that involves threatening a captive with death by drowning until he tells you what you want to know. The Central Intelligence Agency now admits that, acting under orders from the White House in 2003 and 2004, it waterboarded three "high value" al-Qaeda prisoners.
February 17, 2010
AFTER THE Spanish-American War, U.S. soldiers were court-martialed for waterboarding Filipino guerrillas. After World War II, the Tokyo War Crimes Trial was held to prosecute Japanese soldiers for using waterboarding on American and Allied soldiers. In 1983, in Texas, a sheriff and three deputies were prosecuted by the Department of Justice for waterboarding prisoners. The deputies received four years in prison, the sheriff 10 years. On Feb. 14, ex-Vice President Dick Cheney advocated the waterboarding of two suspects.
February 22, 2010
RE PATRICE Batyski's letter "Cheney & War Crimes": Yes, Patricia, Cheney is held to a different standard. We are fighting an enemy without uniforms that attempts to blend in with innocent civilians. These combatants aren't part of a traditional national army, their only goal is to kill Americans. Waterboarding is a necessary and effective method to get the information we need to stay safe. Thanks to waterboarding, many plots have been foiled, one example being the plan to blow up bridges.
February 6, 2008
Effective practice Medieval waterboarding may well have been bad ("Mukasey on waterboarding: No wiggle room," Feb. 4). Modern waterboarding is effective because of the feeling of panic that blows the self control of the prisoner. Not knowing what is happening - and whether safeguards are in place - are the keys to waterboarding's effectiveness. Anyone who seeks to reduce the (potential) panic of potential prisoners is doing the free world a disservice. That is why Attorney General Michael R. Mukasey and others cannot blurt out the truth.
June 2, 2011
By David H. Rittgers The successful raid on Osama bin Laden's safe house in Pakistan has reinvigorated debate over the role "enhanced interrogation techniques" have played in fighting al-Qaeda. No one is switching sides, which has turned the argument into a theological one between two sets of true believers. Each views the other as heretics. The whole debate is pointless posturing. There is no way to prove or disprove that America's experiment with waterboarding and other coercive techniques was worthwhile.
March 28, 2014 |
A DECADE later, America's post-9/11 descent into torture is still an open wound for many - as folks are finding out this week at Drexel University Law School. A Philadelphia lawyers' group is ripping the law school for hosting a talk this afternoon by John Yoo, the ex-Justice Department lawyer who crafted the legal justification for the Bush administration's use of waterboarding and other torture tactics on terrorism suspects. The National Lawyers Guild called Yoo's slated appearance "deplorable," adding that his legal advice had sparked "negative repercussions in American foreign relations that we are still dealing with a dozen years later.