Thursday, December 13, 2007

Does it matter to YOU?

... in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

"Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor," Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. "We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II," he said.

More after the click ...

Case synopsis.

History of waterboarding.

Legality of waterboarding ... both international law and US law.

My comment: Waterboarding has never been controversial before ... not since the dark ages. By suggesting there's wiggle room we invite some unwanted consequences. What are the consequences? We can no longer try those who waterboard our troops as war criminals. I think we want to think twice about those things we want to eliminate as war crimes. (And do you really think we can eliminate a category of war crime unilaterally?)

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