Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Not under grace

Although it might not have seemed that way at the time, in today's George Bush press conference, Newsweek's Richard Wolffe did get a meaningful answer on a question for which Bush has his usual dodge --

Q Thank you, sir. A simple question.
THE PRESIDENT: Yes. It may require a simple answer.
Q What's your definition of the word "torture"?
Q The word "torture." What's your definition?
THE PRESIDENT: That's defined in U.S. law, and we don't torture.
Q Can you give me your version of it, sir?
THE PRESIDENT: Whatever the law says.

Note that the God-fearing president suddenly sees no higher authority than laws that he wrote for determining what is torture. An elementary distinction, but being legal is not the same thing as being right.

UPDATE: The New York Times editorial board blog points out that despite the legal obfuscations, Bush has almost certainly broken the legal definition of torture.

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