Why should we care about a bunch of terrorists and enemy combatants?
Well, how could Michael Mukasey answer to the senators' questions whether water boarding is torture? The United States prosecuted several Japanese interrogators in WWII for employing such a method on our own troops. Rather recently, we did the same to prison guards in Texas.
Thus, water boarding is torture by any reasonable (legal or non) definition. I place emphasis on reasonable, because there are those like John Woo and his mentor, Alberto Gonzales, who tried to re-define torture as actions that can lead to death or major organ failure. In other words, water boarding, pulling one's fingernails (or cutting fingers off), etc., is not torture.
If Mukasey agrees that water boarding is indeed torture then what should he do when he becomes the country's Attorney General?.... [suggestion: go after those who broke the law!]
On PBS, Bill Moyers Journal, there was an interesting discussion recently. Check it out here.
Meanwhile, the Bush government has refused to answer unequivocally whether this method has been used, several officials, including the CIA chief, have said that water boarding has been used--and it's not a bad thing, they say, when it's used against bad people during times of crisis.... Hmmm
"Waterboarding is torture. Torture is unacceptable. Period.
If Michael Mukasey won't stand up to President Bush and tell him that, then he doesn't deserve to be Attorney General."
Senator E. Kennedy, opposing Mukasey's confirmation. [read the senator's statement here]