Friday, February 15, 2008

Waterboarding OK because it doesn’t cause ‘prolonged mental harm’ — I guess PTSD doesn’t count

Like Pol Pot instead of Torquemada

In his alternative reality unverse, Stephen Bradbury, the Department of Justice official serving as titleless head of the Office of Legal Counsel, says that issue, that waterboarding doesn’t cause “prolonged mental harm,” is part of why it’s legal.:
Under the mental side, Congress was very careful in the torture statute to have a very precise definition of severe mental pain or suffering. It requires predicate conditions be met and then, moreover, as we said in our opinion in December 2004, reading many cases, court cases, under the Torture Victims Protection Act, it requires an intent to cause prolonged mental harm. Now that's a mental disorder that is extended or continuing over time and if you've got a body of experience with a particular procedure that's been carefully monitored that indicates that you would not expect that there would be prolonged mental harm from a procedure, you can conclude that it's not torture under the precise terms of that statute.

I don’t know the universe Mr. Bradbury inhabits, but from what I’ve seen, waterboard can, if not always, cause PTSD.

And, that’s not “prolonged mental harm”? Just what IS prolonged mental harm, pray tell?

Oh, and just because waterboarding CIA-style isn’t like that of the Spanish Inquisition doesn’t mean that we’re not following other torturous regimes. Instead, it’s Khmer Rouge style.

Great. We’re like Pol Pot instead of Torquemada.