"A massive hedge": Whitehouse vs. Mukasey on waterboarding
Talking Points Memo brings us this clip from the Mukasey confirmation hearings, in which Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) presents the AG-to-be with the following question: Is waterboarding constitutional?
If waterboarding is torture, then it's not constitutional.
Let's put this another way. Is a convincing simulation of drowning that can cause brain and lung damage torture?
I don't know about you guys, but drowning is one of the ways I'd least like to die. Anything that simulates drowning has got to be torture--especially when it involves extreme pain and potential organ damage, or even death. It's difficult to know what the complication rate is for waterboarding because it's not something that any ethical physician or research institution would ever inflict on humans...or animals for that matter.
I think it's safe to assume that Mukasey is lying when he says that he's "not familiar with the technique" of waterboarding--either that, or he's so sheltered as to disqualify himself for the job of the nation's top law enforcer.
Good for Sen. Whitehouse for telling Mukasey that his answer is "a massive hedge" and very disappointing.