Wednesday, December 10, 2008

ATTORNEY GENERAL SAYS IT'S OKAY TO TORTURE AS LONG AS YOU THINK IT'S LEGAL

NY Times - The attorney general pointed to two of the Bush administration's most hotly debated counterterrorism programs, one authorizing eavesdropping without court orders, the other extreme interrogation techniques like waterboarding.

Mr. Mukasey, whose nomination as attorney general last year was threatened by his refusal to say whether he considered waterboarding to be torture, said the lawyers who authorized the surveillance and interrogation programs had done so in the belief that they were following the law.

"In those circumstances," he said, "there is no occasion to consider prosecution, and there is no occasion to consider pardon."

"If the word goes out to the contrary," he said, "then people are going to get the message, which is that if you come up with an answer that is not considered desirable in the future you might face prosecution, and that creates an incentive not to give an honest answer but to give an answer that may be acceptable in the future. It also creates some incentive in people not to ask in the first place."

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