We can thank Dianne Feinstein for this outrageous performance by the new Attorney General Michael Mukasey.
Mukasey responded that it was "not simply a relative issue," but there "is a statute where it is a relative issue," he added, citing the Detainee Treatment Act. That law engages the "shocks the conscience" standard, he explained, and you have to "balance the value of doing something against the cost of doing it." What does "cost" mean, Biden wanted to know.
Mukasey said that was the wrong word. "I mean the heinousness of doing it, the cruelty of doing it, balanced against the value.... balanced against the information you might get." Information "that couldn't be used to save lives," he explained, would be of less value.
Here we go again. WTF does he mean by balancing value to balancing cost when it comes to torture and in the field---is there a little red book that gives them guidelines? Why bother splitting the difference? Digby explains:
It's really hard for me to believe that someone who used to be a federal judge can blow that sophistry in a congressional hearing with a straight face. If you don't know what they know, then you can't know in advance if what they know might save lives, right?
I honestly don't know why everybody's so hung up on waterboarding specifically at this point. If this is their legal understanding, then they can use the rack, they can break arms and legs and they can pull teeth out with a pair of pliers. There is no logical difference between any of that and waterboarding if the only moral and legal guideline is that "it might be used to save lives."
Bush and Co. have turned their party into the party of torture. McCain and Romney are standing by their man also, so they get mucho kudos from Cheney.. It's quite sickening....