Green Light

by digby

Now it makes sense. Mukasey told us a week ago that waterboarding wasn't actually torture because it depended on who did it and what the circumstances were. Yesterday, in the midst of all our Super Tuesday obsessing, Michael Hayden admitted that the US government had done it:

The CIA used a widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three suspects captured after the Sept. 11 attacks, CIA Director Michael Hayden told Congress on Tuesday.

"Waterboarding has been used on only three detainees," Hayden told the Senate Intelligence Committee. It was the first time a U.S. official publicly specified the number of people subjected to waterboarding and named them.

Congress is considering banning the simulated drowning technique. A Democratic senator and a human rights advocacy group urged a criminal investigation after Hayden made his remarks.

"Waterboarding is torture, and torture is a crime," Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

Those subjected to waterboarding were suspected Sept. 11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and senior al Qaeda leaders Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Hayden said at the Senate hearing on threats to the United States.

If anyone believes that these were the only times, I have some Florida condos to sell you at 2006 prices.

The US admits that it tortures, and says it was very effective. One can only assume they reserve the right to do it again if they feel it is necessary.

The world now has a green light. Torture is officially back on the menu:

He told the committee he opposed limiting the CIA to using interrogation techniques permitted in the U.S. Army Field Manual, which bans waterboarding. CIA interrogators are better trained, and the agency works with a narrower range of suspects in its interrogations, he said.