From McClatchy Washington Bureau:
WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney has confirmed that U.S. interrogators subjected captured senior al-Qaida suspects to a controversial interrogation technique called "water-boarding," which creates a sensation of drowning.
Cheney indicated that the Bush administration doesn't regard water-boarding as torture and allows the CIA to use it. "It's a no-brainer for me," Cheney said at one point in an interview.
Cheney's comments, in a White House interview on Tuesday with a conservative radio talk show host, appeared to reflect the Bush administration's view that the president has the constitutional power to do whatever he deems necessary to fight terrorism.
The U.S. Army, senior Republican lawmakers, human rights experts and many experts on the laws of war, however, consider water-boarding cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment that's banned by U.S. law and by international treaties that prohibit torture. Some intelligence professionals argue that it often provides false or misleading information because many subjects will tell their interrogators what they think they want to hear to make the water-boarding stop.
Lee Ann McBride, a spokeswoman for Cheney, denied that Cheney confirmed that U.S. interrogators used water-boarding or endorsed the technique.A transcript of the interview is posted at the White House website here.
"What the vice president was referring to was an interrogation program without torture," she said. "The vice president never goes into what may or may not be techniques or methods of questioning."
CIA spokeswoman Michelle Neff said, "While we do not discuss specific interrogation methods, the techniques we use have been reviewed by the Department of Justice and are in keeping with our laws and treaty obligations. We neither conduct nor condone torture."
On October 17, 2006, George W. Bush signed into law a bill that shreds the Geneva Conventions, pisses on the Bill of Rights, and terminates the 800 year-old right of habeas corpus. It allows Bush to decide what is and isn't torture.
A Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, was tried in 1947 for carrying out a form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian during World War II, and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor. The charges against Asano included other abuses of prisoners.Also from Wikipedia:On the issue of waterboarding, the United States charged Yukio Asano, a Japanese officer on May 1 to 28, 1947, with war crimes. The offenses were recounted by John Henry Burton, a civilian victim: After taking me down into the hallway they laid me out on a stretcher and strapped me on. The stretcher was then stood on end with my head almost touching the floor and my feet in the air. They then began pouring water over my face and at times it was impossible for me to breathe without sucking in water. The torture continued and continued. Yukio Asano was sentenced to fifteen years of hard labor.On September 6, 2006, the United States Department of Defense released a revised Army Field Manual entitled Human Intelligence Collector Operations that prohibits the use of waterboarding by U.S. military personnel. The revised manual was adopted amid widespread criticism of U.S. handling of prisoners in the War on Terrorism, and prohibits other practices in addition to waterboarding. The revised manual applies to U.S. military personnel, and as such does not apply to the practices of the CIA.
In the United States, military personnel are taught this technique, to demonstrate how to resist enemy interrogations in the event of capture. According to Salon.com, SERE instructors shared their techniques with interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay detainment camp.This video demonstrates water-boarding:
Remember, this is not torture if Bush and Cheney say it isn't.
We've always been at war with Eurasia.