So says the Attorney General of the United States today in response to a question by Senator Kennedy. But the Attorney General of the United States cannot admit that an "enhanced interrogation technique" that has been deemed "torture" by this country for most of its history and by almost all of the civilized world is, in fact, torture. Why is that? Because to admit this will be to admit a very dark truth ---- that over the past six year, despite its Constitutions, despite its rich anti-torture history, despite its laws, and despite its historic acceptance of the Geneva Conventions and other treaties banning torture, the United States has become a nation engaged in torture. Perhaps President Bush should have explained that to us in his final (Thank God!) State of the Union address as he weakly attempted to articulate a legacy out of an utterly failed presidency.
Perhaps someone should ask the Attorney General or the President whether we should any longer find torture shameful. As John McCain, the now presumptive Republican nominee for President, said back in October, "They should know what it (waterboarding) is. It is not a complicated procedure. It is torture. . . . . All I can say is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition, it was used in Pol Pot's genocide in Cambodia, and there are reports that it is being used against Buddhist monks today."