Calling Orwell

From the Washington Post chat session yesterday:

Foxboro, Mass: I'm confused. Bush made this bold statement that the US doesn't torture that I thought should have already happened. Yet water boarding of prisoners has been documented. Did he miss the memo?

Dana Priest: Okay, under the rules in which the CIA was operating - rules judged by the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel to be legal - waterboarding was not considered torture. If you read the so-called Torture Memo of August 2002, you'll see that torture, as defined by the OLC there mean only techniques that cause severe mental or physical damage, organ failure or death. Water boarding does not cause such damage, does not result in organ failure or death. that's what the interpretation would be. Note: The DOJ repudiated the memo once it became public.

The question you, dear reader, have to answer is whether you consider "waterboarding" to be

"an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession."

The second question is what you think of a president who believes waterboarding isn't such an act.