Thursday, July 17, 2008, I'm not shocked...that was just heartburn

John Ashcroft defended the use of waterboarding today before a House panel.

"I believe a report of waterboarding would be serious, but I do not believe it would define torture," Ashcroft said, responding to questions from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California.
Then what would define torture? I'm not even being sarcastic here. I'm serious. What would define torture if that wouldn't?

So I looked it up.

1 a: anguish of body or mind : agony b: something that causes agony or pain2: the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure3: distortion or overrefinement of a meaning or an argument : straining
Let's see if it fits. Does waterboarding cause anguish of body or mind? I'm sure not being able to breathe causes some sort of anguish. Let's try B. Does it cause agony or pain? I know, having asthma, that when I can't breathe it's painful. Well, maybe he meant number 2. The infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure. As much as I think Ashcroft probably enjoys sadistic pleasure, I think the word "coerce" is key. But is it intense pain? It's not burning crushing or wounding, but those are just examples. I think drowning might fit in there. I know getting water up my nose is painful, I can just imagine if it is forced.

So, John, as much as I hate to disagree with you, I think your definition-siting-skills are a bit rusty. You might want to think about a dictionary.

I know! We should all send John Ashcroft a dictionary with the word "torture" highlighted!!!! How appropriate!



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