Quote with comment: Nose of the beholder

Published: Friday, January 18, 2008 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 17, 2008 at 5:10 p.m.

"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful!"

Mike McConnel,

national intelligence chief

President Bush has doggedly insisted "we don't torture," in the face of mountains of evidence to the contrary. But torture, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. So it was refreshing to read McConnell's moment of candor when he recently told The New Yorker "Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture." He defined torture as an interrogation technique that "is excruciatingly painful to the point of forcing someone to say something because of pain." Surely, simulating the experience of drowning meets that definition.

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