'Torture' Defined By Proven Intent
I was offended by Dusty Rhoades' column (May 17). Amidst his typical left-wing rantings he asserted torture was used by the Bush administration.
A May 19 article by Andrew McCarthy at nationalreview.com, "On torture, Holder undoes Holder," provides a revealing, understandable analysis. Citing a recent 3rd Circuit decision, the Pierre case, the court found torture requires proof of specific intent.
"The mere fact that the Haitian authorities have knowledge that severe pain and suffering may result by placing detainees in these conditions does not support a finding that the Haitian authorities intend to inflict severe pain and suffering. The difference goes to the heart of the distinction between general and specific intent."
McCarthy summarizes: " the CIA interrogators did not inflict severe pain and had no intention of doing so. It doesn't matter what the average person might think the 'logical' result of the action would be; it matters what specifically was in the mind of the alleged torturer -- if his motive was not to torture, it is not torture."
McCarthy notes the Holder Justice Department made that argument three weeks ago!
For over four decades members of our armed forces have been subjected to the same techniques used on the three senior Al Qaida leaders. Were we torturing our best and brightest?
Even Holder acknowledged that waterboarding and other techniques employed weren't torture; obviously there was no intent to inflict pain or suffering. Any fair reading of the declassified Bush administration legal memos will recognize the litany of limitations and concerns addressed therein prove there was no intent to "torture."
A rhetorical question for Rhoades and others who share his view: If waterboarding conducted in 2002 was clearly "torture," why then did congressional Democrats advance new legislation banning waterboarding in both the 2006 and 2007 sessions?
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