In one of the more nauseating passages, Jay Bybee, then an assistant attorney general and now a federal judge, wrote admiringly about a contraption for waterboarding that would lurch a prisoner upright if he stopped breathing while water was poured over his face. He praised the Central Intelligence Agency for having doctors ready to perform an emergency tracheotomy if necessary.
There is NO LEGAL authority for such a finding as complying with the Geneva Conventions, a Treaty the United States is a signatory of, and which is the law of the land. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it - there is no ticking time bomb exemptions and the fact is, there was none in effect at the time and Bybee knew it.
After all, as far as Mr. Bush’s lawyers were concerned, it was not really torture unless it involved breaking bones, burning flesh or pulling teeth. That, Mr. Bybee kept noting, was what the Libyan secret police did to one prisoner. The standard for American behavior should be a lot higher than that of the Libyan secret police.
The Geneva Convention is the LAW of the United States and Bybee willingly shilled and sold his soul and his right to practice law, let alone sit as a Judge on a Federal bench for life in doing so.
The Geneva Convention is not the tax code, it is not COBRA, it is not a Disability Insurance Policy, it is not a lease, it is not an arbitration provision. It does not exist to be twisted into allowing sadism and savagery.