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Rich Lowry seems to believe that waterboarding is not torture or forbidden by the Geneva Conventions and US law. What is his view, I wonder, of the many documented scenes at Abu Ghraib of stress positions, mock executions, and degrading sexual abuse? The prisoner above, for example, is not in excruciating pain. He is not having his fingernails pulled out. He is not being strangled. He is being subjected to a mild variety of vershaerfte Vernehmung that Lowry approves of and that the US once prosecuted as a war crime. Presumably this technique, which Lynndie England somehow picked up from someone down the line of command from Gitmo commander Geoffrey Miller, is fine by Lowry's interpretation of the law and of Geneva as well. So what exactly was the problem at Abu Ghraib, according to Lowry? That the acts of abuse were performed? Or that they weren't performed by the right people under the right circumstances? The latter seems to be Giuliani's position: he wants Abu Ghraib methods but more professionally done. Is this now the official Bush-Cheney position: that what once "shocked the conscience" should now be legal, and that the attorney general should approve of it? Just checking.

If waterboarding does not shock Lowry's conscience, why does the picture above? Or doesn't it any more?

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