Legalizing Waterboarding

Marty Lederman examines the military detention bill the White House has offered to the Congress. And, yes, it actually includes a formal legalization of cruel, inhuman and degrading interrogation techniques - some of which were innovated by Stalin's KGB - to be used by the CIA. That includes "waterboarding." Here is the formal CIA definition, as laid out in my forthcoming book:

"The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt."

When will the press ask the president straight up whether he approves of this practice; whether he believes it's torture; and whether he has personally authorized it? The headlines are that the U.S. is finally complying with Geneva. The truth is that the administration is asking the Congress to legislate our renunciation of them. Marty predicted such a maneuver a while back. Sources tell me that McCain sees the ruse, but Graham may take the Cambone bait.