- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Pardon him … and others, too” (Nation, Monday), Lanny Davis gives us an exposition of torture - tortured logic, that is. Mr. Davis originally opined that former Vice President Dick Cheney’s public justification and endorsement of the use of waterboarding on three dangerous terrorists warranted an indictment. In his current column, Mr. Davis waffles back and forth and ultimately settles on the ridiculous proposition that Mr. Cheney should be pardoned for his war criminality.

Mr. Davis’ anguish is silly, and it is wholly based on his presupposition that waterboarding is torture. He likens it to the waterboarding techniques used by the Japanese during World War II. What he fails to point out is that the waterboarding techniques employed by the Japanese were a far cry from those used on Abu Zubaydah and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. The former included forced ingestion of water, to the point of distending the stomach, and the waterboarding generally was accompanied by harsh beatings. It should be noted that the Japanese were prosecuted for a mosaic of war crimes, of which waterboarding was but one among many. On the other hand, Zubaydah and Mohammed were not forced to ingest any water. They were not, in fact, ever in any danger of physical harm.

Mr. Davis is entitled to interpret the kinder, gentler waterboarding as torture, but he should not cite the prosecution of the Japanese after World War II as his justification.


Purcellville, Va.

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