CIA Chief Michael Hayden has issued a passionate defense of extraordinary rendition, claiming that the practice, which so often involves abduction and torture, is justified by the “irreplaceable” intelligence it produces. Meanwhile, President Bush’s preferred successor to loyal henchman Alberto Gonzales refuses to call torture by its name, though he claims to find it “repugnant.”
[Attorney General] nominee Michael Mukasey condemned one technique, water-boarding, as “repugnant” and possibly “over the line,” but declined to explicitly rule it out as torture, saying he could not speculate on classified procedures.
Water-boarding simulates drowning by immobilizing a prisoner with his head lower than his feet and pouring water over his face.
Leading Democrats in the Senate have threatened to block Mr Mukasey’s confirmation if he does not explicitly rule out water-boarding as illegal.