Holder, facing a confirmation hearing in the Senate, said he and Obama had been disturbed by the practices at the US detention centre at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, where prisoners picked up from the Middle East, Asia and Africa have been held without trial.Good. Now punish the people responsible.
The vice-president, Dick Cheney, in interviews over the last week, has defended Guantánamo and continues to claim that waterboarding, in which drowning is simulated, does not constitute torture.
The CIA subjected at least three inmates at Guantánamo to waterboarding.
Holder was unequivocal yesterday: "Waterboarding is torture."
He added: "The decisions that were made by a prior administration were difficult ones. It is an easy thing for somebody to look back in hindsight and be critical of the decisions that were made. Having said that, the president-elect and I are both disturbed by what we have seen and what we have heard." (1)
1 - "Waterboarding is torture, says Obama's choice as justice chief," by Ewen MacAskill, published in The Guardian, 16th of January, 2009. (http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jan/16/waterboarding-guantanamo)