Waterboarding Is Illegal: Justice Dept.

Legal expert to tell House committee it's no longer acceptable
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2008 8:18 AM CST
Waterboarding Is Illegal: Justice Dept.
Demonstrators from the group "World Can't Wait" hold a mock waterboarding to protest the CIA's use of the interrogation practice.   (Getty Images (by Event) Individuals)

A top Justice Department official will declare to a House subcommittee today that waterboarding is no longer legal—a day after Congress defied President Bush's veto threat to explicitly outlaw the controversial interrogation tactic. "The set of interrogation methods authorized for current use is narrower than before, and it does not today include waterboarding," says testimony prepared by Stephen Bradbury, acting head of the Office of Legal Counsel.

Bradbury's comments, the agency's first such statement on the hot-button topic, follow CIA revelations that agents waterboarded three prisoners. In 2005 Bradbury authorized the CIA to use waterboarding, but the Detainee Treatment Act of 2005 prohibited cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment, and the military forbade the practice in 2006. Waterboarding is still officially an option for the CIA but must be approved by the president and attorney general.   (More waterboarding stories.)

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