Justice official test-rode the waterboard: The Swamp
 
The Swamp
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Posted November 3, 2007 6:30 AM
The Swamp

by Mark Silva

Our friend Jan Crawford Greenburg at ABC News has reported something chilling about the controvery over waterboarding in the U.S. interrogation of suspected terrorists:

"A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration's legal position on torture in 2004, became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News.'' Greenburg and Ariane de Vogue reported on World News With Charles Gibson last night.

'Daniel Levin, an acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques,'' reports Greenburg, who covered the Supreme Court for the Chicago Tribune before moving to ABC.

"After the experience,'' the report continues, "Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn't die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning. Levin, who refused to comment for this story, concluded water boarding could be illegal torture unless performed in a highly limited way, and with close supervision.

"And, sources tell ABC News, he believed the Bush Administration had failed to offer clear guidelines on its use.''

"The administration at the time was reeling from an August 2002 memo by Jay Bybee, then the head of the Office of Legal Counsel, which laid out possible justifications for torture,'' the ABC report continues, reported in full here: "In June 2004, Levin's predecessor at the office, Jack Goldsmith, officially withdrew the Bybee memo, finding it deeply flawed.

"When Levin took over from Goldsmith, he went to work on a memo that would effectively replace the Bybee memo as the administration's legal position on torture. It was during this time that he underwent waterboarding.

"In December of 2004 Levin released the new memo. He said 'torture is abhorrent' but he went on to say in a footnote that the memo was not declaring the administration's previous opinions illegal. The White House, with Alberto Gonzales as the White House counsel, insisted that this footnote be included in the memo.

"But Levin never finished a second memo imposing tighter controls on the specific interrogation techniques. Sources say he was forced out of the Justice Department when Gonzales became attorney general.

"According to Retired Rear Admiral John Hutson, 'There is no question this is torture -- this is a technique by which an individual is strapped to a board, elevated by his feet and either dunked into water or water poured over his face over a towel or a blanket.'

"The legal justification of waterboarding has come to the forefront in the debate swirling around Michael B. Mukasey's nomination as attorney general. While Democrats are pressing him to declare waterboarding illegal, he has refused to do so. He calls it personally 'repellant' but he is unwilling to declare it illegal until he is able to see the classified information regarding the technique and its current use.''

Personally repellant?

Perhaps Mukasey should take the water-board for a test-ride, too.

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Comments

Waterboard Safari

Let's waterboard 'em now
Everybody's learning how
Come on and safari with me
(Come on and safari with...)

Early in the morning we'll be startin' out
Some Iraqis will be comin' along
We're loadin' up my rifles
with the boards inside
and heading out singing our song

Come on (surf route) baby wait and see (surfin' safari)
Yes I'm gonna (surf route) take you surfin' (surfin' safari) with me
Come along (surf route) baby wait and see (surfin' safari)
Yes I'm gonna (surf route) take you surfin' (surfin' safari) with me

Let's waterboard 'em now
Everybody's learning how
Come on and safari with me
(Come on and safari with...)

At Abu Ghraib and Bagdad
They'll be stricken with fear
At Gitmo they're getting the hose
We're going on safari to the islands this year
So if you're coming get ready to go

Come on (surf route) baby wait and see (surfin' safari)
Yes I'm gonna (surf route) take you surfin' (surfin' safari) with me
Come along (surf route) baby wait and see (surfin' safari)
Yes I'm gonna (surf route) take you surfin' (surfin' safari) with me

Let's waterboard 'em now
Everybody's learning how
Come on and safari with me
(Come on and safari with...)

They’re danglin’ in prisons in the middle east
They’re kicking in Guantanamo too
I tell you boarding’s mighty wild
It’s getting bigger every day
From the Gulf to the shores of Peru

Come on (surf route) baby wait and see (surfin' safari)
Yes I'm gonna (surf route) take you surfin' (surfin' safari) with me
Come along (surf route) baby wait and see (surfin' safari)
Yes I'm gonna (surf route) take you surfin' (surfin' safari) with me

Let's waterboard 'em now
Everybody's learning how
Come on and safari with me
(Come on and safari with...)


This driveby article is meant to give cover to Dickie Durbin and all the liberal Democrat Senators who said he wouldn't vote for Mukasey because of his torture water boarding.
When W said ok don't approve Mukasey and I won't appoint an Attorney General period.
This brought Chuck Schemer to defend Mukasey since he proposed this man in the first place. He almost forgot he endorsed this guy when he got caught up in gotcha politcs with Dickie Durbin, Senator Depends and ole Teddy Kennedy saying they wouldn't endorse this monster over alleged torture.
Then, when W switched the light on their machinations Schemer changed his mind and Depends said he wouldn't vote for Mukasy but, he would let the vote go to the Senate for a vote.What a bunch this is. Jerry White, Springfield, IL


Leahy and Durbin and their fellow travelers voted to confirm Janet Reno and seemed to never have a problem with her, even after her and Clinton's decision resulted in the fiery deaths of all those kids and women in Waco. In comparison to death by fire, waterboarding is a bit lower on the scale.


Waterboarding is torture. That is settled American law.

How can you confirm an AG who doesn't know the law?


Apparently "Jason now believes that what the Japanese were prosecuted for doing to our Navy personnel---waterboarding---is a "bit lower on the scale."

See how these Bush followers practice situational ethics?

IMMORAL, is what they have become to justify what the Greatest Generation considered despicable torture.

Poor Jason. Look what he and his ilk have become by worshipping at the feet of Bush/Cheney.


For Jerry White & Jason and the other "supporters" of illegal activities.

Simply put. Go and ask your minister, priest or whatever if he or she feels that torture is acceptable. You people sicken me with your convenient morals. You want to preach to the rest of us how we should live our daily lives, yet look the other way, or otherwise justify this type of abhorrent behavior.

Torture, including waterboarding, is unacceptable in civilized societies.


Jerry White, Have you tried it? I think your computer keyboard should zap you with a couple volts every time you type "driveby".

So, you end up with a really terrified, wet suspect who hates Americans even more. What is it that is being accomplished?


Does any of this make any sense to anybody?
____________________________
This driveby article is meant to give cover to Dickie Durbin and all the liberal Democrat Senators who said he wouldn't vote for Mukasey because of his torture water boarding.
When W said ok don't approve Mukasey and I won't appoint an Attorney General period.
This brought Chuck Schemer to defend Mukasey since he proposed this man in the first place. He almost forgot he endorsed this guy when he got caught up in gotcha politcs with Dickie Durbin, Senator Depends and ole Teddy Kennedy saying they wouldn't endorse this monster over alleged torture.
Then, when W switched the light on their machinations Schemer changed his mind and Depends said he wouldn't vote for Mukasy but, he would let the vote go to the Senate for a vote.What a bunch this is. Jerry White, Springfield, IL

____________________________

I think Mr. White has been hitting the moonshine. But then, you can't take anything that comes out of Springpatch seriously these days.


Hollywood,
Good parody song. Thanks!

Jerry White from Springfield IL.
If you were the Jerry White from Davenport, IA., I might pay some attention to your posts.
But you are the Jerry White from Springfield.


Janet Reno? Bringing up Janet Reno in a discussion about waterboarding only demonstrates that you have both feet firmly planted in fantasyland.
The lengths reactionaries will go to in order to defend this clearly illegal administration and its clearly illegal actions never cease to amaze me.
Waterboarding is illegal.
Waterboarding is cruel.
Waterboarding has been illegal in the international community basically forever.
And now that the US has officially embraced torture as a policy, wingers are bending over backwards to once again deny reality.
It's sad.
It's pathetic.
It's wrong.


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