Human rights group: Waterboarding is torture


A U.S. Jewish human rights group defined waterboarding as torture.

“We are concerned about the current national discussion in the United States, which suggests that there is some question as to whether waterboarding is legal and whether it constitutes torture,” the Jacob Blaustein Institute, affiliated with the American Jewish Committee, said in a statement Monday. “Waterboarding – an interrogation practice associated with the Spanish Inquisition and prosecuted under U.S. law as torture as much as a century ago – is unquestionably torture.”

U.S. interrogators reportedly have used waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning, on terrorism suspects. The Bush administration will not say whether it is used and refuses to define it as torture, although the bulk of U.S. judicial precedent has decreed it as such.

The confirmation of U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey, an Orthodox Jew, was nearly derailed last month over his refusal to call waterboarding torture.

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