The Senate Judiciary Committee has begun holding hearings on the nomination of Loretta Lynch and she showed remarkable clarity in declaring unequivocally that waterboarding is torture. The fact that this obvious admission seems bold and refreshing is testimony to just how screwed up our discourse on this issue has been.
Attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch told senators on Wednesday that acts of waterboarding constitutes torture — and are “thus illegal.”
Her statement came after Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) asked whether she believed waterboarding was torture. Leahy also referred to the report on enhanced interrogations that the Senate Intelligence Committee — then under Democratic control — released in December.
“Waterboarding is torture, Senator,” Lynch said in her testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee. “And thus illegal.”
Leahy apparently did not ask the obvious follow-up question: Are you not obligated, under both federal statute and treaty obligations, to prosecute those who ordered it and carried it out? I bet her answer to that question would have been far more obtuse and vague because she knows damn well that President Obama strongly opposes any such prosecutions.