Torture, Guadalupe, Lustiger, priests

FOR THE RECORD

Your reply to my December 21, 2007, letter (“Waterboarding & the Law”) includes a major error of fact and an important omission, which together leave your readers misinformed.

Contrary to your assertion, in the December 2, 2002, memo you referred to, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld did not approve “exposure to cold weather or water” or “use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce misperception of drowning,” the latter known as waterboarding. Southern Command had requested approval of a variety of techniques, divided into three categories. One of the four Category III techniques was waterboarding. In his December 2 memo, Rumsfeld authorized use of only one of the four Category III techniques—the one he approved was neither waterboarding nor “exposure to cold weather or water.”

It is also important to note that on January 15, 2003, Rumsfeld rescinded his December “approval of the use of all Category II techniques and one Category III technique...”

The relevant documents have been declassified and are in the public domain, including in The Torture Papers, edited by Karen J. Greenburg and Joshua L. Dratel, and Torture and Truth, by Mark Danner. The points above should help set the record straight for your readers...

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