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Nadine Strossen is the John Marshall Harlan II Professor of Law at New York Law School. From 1991 through 2008, she served as President of the American Civil Liberties Union,[…]

Is water-boarding torture?

Question: What is torture?

Nadine Strossen:  Waterboarding is torture by the way and it is defined as such by seven different laws that the United States is bound by. I can't give an explanation beyond one that would apply to any post 09/11 issues, which is that over and over and over again we have an administration that is saying, this strategy is necessary in order to protect America against terrorism to keep America safe and there seems to be an assumption that if something is…first of all that it really is necessary and secondly that the ends justifies the means. If it keeps us safe, then we should do it. So, we have an administration that is one part of the equation that has taken that position not only on waterboarding, but on all kinds of abuses, but secondly, we have a Congress that too spinelessly goes along with those assertions including Democrats and I saw an editorial cartoon not too long ago on another issue where you can say why? Why has it taken so long and it still hasn’t happened to put an end to the national security agency engaging in warrantless domestic spying and Congress still hasn’t ended it. So, there is this editorial cartoon that shows NSA spies aimed at you and me, not suspected of anything let alone terrorism and there are these two Democratic donkeys on the floor representing the House and the Senate and one of them says to the other, cowering on the floor, one of them says to the other you know what?...remind me why we are not opposing this and the other one says we don’t' want to appear weak.

Recorded On: 2/14/08