hee. hee hee. hoo hoo. snork! oh, my sides. my ribs. can't breathe. oh, the hilarity. oh, oh, oh...bwaaahaaahaaa!!!...sniffle, snark, snark...
The CIA's use of waterboarding was legal and not torture, a Justice Deparment official argued this morning, because it was a "procedure subject to strict limitations and safeguards" that made it substantially different from historical uses of the technique by the Japanese and the Spanish Inquisition.
Steven Bradbury, the Justice Department official who heads up the Office of Legal Counsel, is testifying before a House Judiciary subcommittee this morning. And he made an unexpected argument when Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) asked him whether waterboarding violated the law against torture.
It did not, he said. And he argued that what the CIA did bears "no resemblance" to what torturers in time past have done. "There's been a lot of discussion in the public about historical uses of waterboarding," he said. But the "only thing in common is the use of water," he said.
The Spanish and Japanese use of "water torture," he said, "involved the forced consumption of a mass amount of water." Asked by a Republican whether Bradbury was aware of any "modern use" of waterboarding that involved the "lungs filling with water," Bradbury said no.
The Japanese forced the ingestion of so much water that it was "beyond the capacity of the victim's stomach." Weight or pressure was then applied by standing or jumping on the stomach of the victim, sometimes leading to "blood coming of the victim's mouth." The Spanish Inquisition would use the technique to the point of "agony or death."
But the CIA wasn't doing that, he argued. "Strict time limits" were involved -- presumably governing the length of time that interrogators could induce the sensation of drowning. There were "safeguards" and "restrictions" that made it a much more controlled procedure. Because of that, he said, the technique did not amount to torture.
But Bradbury said that subsequent laws and Supreme Court decisions passed in 2005 and 2006 had changed his office's analysis, and in 2006 the CIA removed waterboarding from its authorized battery of interrogation techniques.
oh man, i think i just crapped my pants! that's good stuff there. i guess the writer's strike really is over. woof!
p.s. this next one sounds like a great idea (as oppsed to signing a petition), especially the "going back to bed" part since i'm not getting Presidents' Day off:
Veterans For Peace today kicked off its March 19, 2008 “Sick Of It Day” campaign to end the war in Iraq.
March 19 is the fifth anniversary of the invasion of Iraq, and the campaign is designed to give every person sick of the corruption, the lies and the war an opportunity to join with others in the classic civil resistance tactic of “withdrawing consent” from the system.
Based on the principle taken from the Declaration of Independence that government requires the consent of the governed, everyone who joins Sick Of It Day will be actively withdrawing their consent, one by one, until the collective economic impact reverberates through Washington and politicians are faced with a choice: end the war or have an ungovernable country. (Read more about this powerful form of civil resistance…)
Giving his personal reason why he is “sick of it,” campaign originator and member of Iraq Veterans Against the War, Adam Kokesh said, “I am sick of seeing America in denial about how much we have been lied to.”
Veterans For Peace member and campaign organizer, Mike Ferner, explained “I’ve seen the pain on the faces of the people of Iraq and the soldiers who come back from war. It’s something I can’t get out of my mind and there are days when it really does make me sick.”
People who call in sick on March 19 can choose from a wide variety of other things to do that day – from contacting Congress and going back to bed, to more ambitious ideas like helping quarantine military shipments in U.S. ports. Campaigners are invited to come up with their own “Sick Of It Day” activity and post it to the site.
Sick Of It Day web designer, Scott Blackburn, said “We’ve made the site easy to use and easy to pass along to others. The success of Sick Of It Day depends on the idea going viral on the internet. With so many people sick of this war, we think there’s a good chance it will.”
unlike petitions to impeach the pResident, this will truly hurt them where they live. i don't know how just yet (i don't even know who "them" truly is), but i will by the time i turn off my alarm, call in to work with my most indignant, pissed off and (just in case) flu-ridden voice to announce my unavailability for work that day and that my bosses need to do something about ending the war in Iraq and the lack of Paydays in the snack machine in the break room. mmmm, i do love me a good Payday. so nutty and nugatty.