Friday, February 1, 2008

Top US law official refuses to say if waterboarding is legal : Legal General

American Capital - The top United States law enforcement official, Lawyer General Michael B. Mukasey, refused on Wednesday to state whether the waterboarding of terrorism suspects violated United States torment laws. Mukasey, testifying before Senate Judiciary Committee, said that because the Central Intelligence Agency was not currently using the pattern there was no demand for him to stipulate whether it was legal.

"Given that waterboarding is not portion of the current programme and may never be added to the current programme, I don't believe it would be appropriate for me to go through unequivocal judgement on the technique's legality," Mukasey said.

Mukasey said there are some fortune under United States law that would "clearly" prohibition the usage of waterboarding during interrogations, but in other lawsuits it would "present a far closer question."

"If this were an easy question, I would not be loath to offer my positions on this subject," Mukasey said.

Waterboarding is a technique used to imitate drowning of its subject, and is used the military unit people to supply information or a confession.

President Saint George Tungsten Bush's disposal have refused to state whether waterboarding have been used, saying only that the authorities makes not prosecute in torture.

The administration's indeterminate position on waterboarding have frustrated some senators as well as human rights groups. The president of the committee, Senator Saint Patrick Leahy, told Mukasey it is clip for the disposal to take a clear position on the issue.

"Torture and illegality have got no topographic point in America, and we should not detain to get the procedure of restoring America's function in the battle for autonomy and human self-respect around the world," he said.

He accused the White Person House of ordering functionaries "not to state that waterboarding is torment and illegal."

Deputy Secretary of State Toilet Negroponte, who previously served South Dakota the top United States functionary overseeing United States intelligence agencies, said waterboarding was used in the past for questions of terrorism suspects but the pattern have been halted.

"We have got taken stairway to turn to the issue of interrogations, for instance, and waterboarding have not been used in years," Negroponte said in an interview last hebdomad with the National Journal. "It wasn't used when I was manager of national intelligence, nor even for a few old age before that."

Negroponte, a calling diplomat, served as manager of national intelligence from 2005 to 2007.

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