June 27, 2004

White House Still Working Out “Torture” Definition

In the past few weeks, there has been a lot of controversy surrounding the administration’s definition of torture. The law recognizes torture as the infliction of “severe physical or mental pain or suffering.”

However, Jay S. Bybee, then a government lawyer, established in an August 2002 memorandum that only physical pain “as intense as that accompanying organ failure or death” qualified as torture. He further asserted that “the infliction of pain” must also be “the offender’s specific objective.”

With their tendency to just make things up, we anticipate the White House will soon release another revision of the term.

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Michael Shaw
See other posts by Michael here.

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