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Hypothetical Waterboarding

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2006 12:02 PM

In the midst of President Bush's press conference yesterday, he defends his stance by painting a picture of Iraq, "� 20 or 30 years from now, if we leave before the job is done."

And then, a moment later, he tells another reporter, "You're asking me hypotheticals. Our job is to make sure there's not one, see. You been around here five-and-a-half years, you know I won't answer hypotheticals. Occasionally slip up, but �"

The president uses a hypothetical, then says he won't answer a question based on a hypothetical.

(h/t to Steve Young at the Huffington Post)

Another blogger (my apologies for not keeping track of whom), pointed out a significant flaw in the, "Democrats want to raise your taxes," argument.

Namely, they can't. We have a Republican president. Even with a Democratic-controlled House and Senate, any legislation authorizing new taxes has to pass Mr. Bush's desk.

If he doesn't sign it, there are no new taxes, and no undoing of his own tax cuts.

Attorney General Alberto Gonzales is trying to smooth over U.S./European relations, particularly over combatting terrorism.

The problem? Gonzales says the Bush Administration did a poor job of explaining its legal principles in combatting terrorism.

As in, we said stay the course, but what we really meant was don't get caught.

Mr. Gonzales, your views on terrorism and the Geneva Conventions are clear, as are those of your buddy, John Yoo. The problem is that everyone understands you all too well.

And maybe you'd like to rethink the wisdom of trying to sell European nations on torture and detention camps, especially when giving a speech in Germany.

In an interview with a conservative radio host earlier this week, Vice President Dick Cheney agrees that waterboarding is valid policy.

Q: And terrorist interrogations and that debate is another example.

And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?

THE VICE PRESIDENT: I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that.

(Cheney complains that the Democrats voted against the Military Commissions Act.)

Q: Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?

CHENEY: It's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there, I was criticized as being the Vice President "for torture." We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in. We live up to our obligations in international treaties that we're party to and so forth. But the fact is, you can have a fairly robust interrogation program without torture, and we need to be able to do that.

It's clear that Cheney doesn't believe waterboarding constitutes torture, but is only part of a, 'fairly robust,' interrogation program.

It should be disturbing to all Americans that we have elected officials whose consciences are so blatantly AWOL.

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