Friday, May 15, 2009

Hoekstra on his own Petard

Peter Hoekstra (R-idiocy) demolishes the one semi convincing argument against a torture investigation. The argument is that that which was done to suspected members of al Qaeda is the same as SERE training and, therefore, not torture. To argue this, one must assert that, say, water boarding is one and only one thing and is either always torture or never torture. Hoekstra argues that this is not true

in an intereview on Fox News

Q: And waterboarding is or is not torture?

HOEKSTRA: There is a wide range of waterboarding. I’m telling you, that I know waterboarding was used, Shep. I’m not mincing words. I’m saying that I believe the techniques used in 2002, in 2003, which included waterboarding in a specific format that I’m aware of how they used it, that I believe that was consistent with U.S. law.


I actually agree with Heokstra that waterboarding with one drop of water for one second is not torture. Unlike Hoekstra, however, I have read the relevant passage from the Bradbury memo. If he had done his homework, he would have known that the waterboarding of al Qaeda prisoners was very different from SERE semi water boarding. Much more water was used and significant amounts entered the victims mouths and nasal cavities.

When in a tough spot, Hoekstra decided to make convenient facts up. So he declared that, while water boarding is sometimes torture, the water boarding of al Qaeda prisoners was not. He forgot that the relevant facts are now in the public record.

His defense won't have any effect except to destroy the one argument which might have saved the torturers.

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