Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Daniel Levin asked to be waterboarded to help him decide if it was torture

Daniel Levin was a seeker of truth, so the Bush administration got rid of him. Levin decided, after experiencing the procedure first hand, that waterboarding is torture except under the most carefully restricted conditions.

Today's editorial on the subject from the Washington Post:

The View From the Waterboard
A former Justice lawyer did his homework -- and raised a red flag.
November 6, 2007

"ATTORNEY GENERAL nominee Michael B. Mukasey may have his doubts about what constitutes waterboarding and whether it is illegal. Daniel Levin has no such questions.

"Mr. Levin was acting head of the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel in 2004 when he volunteered to be waterboarded, according to a remarkable Nov. 2 report by Jan Crawford Greenburg and Ariane de Vogue of ABC News. In the midst of revising the Justice Department's legal rationale on interrogation methods after the repudiation of the infamous "torture memo," Mr. Levin wanted to experience waterboarding, or simulated drowning, to determine whether it triggered the legal definition of torture. After being subjected to the technique at a Washington area military installation, Mr. Levin concluded that waterboarding could be illegal unless performed under the strictest supervision and in the most limited of ways. Mr. Levin finished drafting the new legal memorandum in December 2004.

"According to the ABC report, Mr. Levin's findings did not sit well with the administration. Then-White House Counsel Alberto R. Gonzales insisted that Mr. Levin add a footnote to the memo that made clear that the revised memo did not make the administration's previous opinions illegal. Mr. Levin was forced out of the Justice Department a few months after Mr. Gonzales was confirmed as attorney general in early 2005..."


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