RFK Jr. writes in The White House's Tortured Definition of Torture | The Huffington Post
Gonzales said all federal government employees were aware of the policy and he dismissed the Abu Ghraib atrocities as the acts of a handful of bad apples on the prison's night shift. 'The day shift didn't engage in that kind of conduct.'
So far so good. But when asked by Carroll Bogert of Human Rights Watch whether the administration considered 'waterboarding' to be torture, Gonzales refused to answer. 'I'm not going to get into a discussion about specific methods of questioning people who have information that may save American lives.'
No wonder the troops are confused. If the Attorney General won't say what constitutes torture then how is the night shift at Abu Ghraib supposed to know? Gonzales added, somewhat discordantly, that although he could not share the particulars of the administration's secret definition of torture, everyone in the federal government was already thoroughly aware of those details.
'I'm not going to talk about specific methods that are used by the United States government. What I can say is that everyone in the United State government understands what our legal obligations are.'
The Attorney General's demurral opens up a loophole large enough for Torquemada to ride through on a wagonload of Iron Maidens, breaking wheels and thumbscrews.
Shorter Gonzales (wait, isn't that redundant?): Nobody expects the Cheneyan Inquisition! Our chief weapon is surprise...surprise and fear...fear and surprise.... Our two weapons are fear and surprise...and reckless incompetence.... Our *three* weapons are fear, surprise, and reckless incompetence...and an almost fanatical devotion to the President.... Our *four*...no... *Amongst* our weapons.... Amongst our weaponry...are such elements as fear, surprise and waterboarding.... I'll come in again.