I can’t tell you the number of times I began a story with a plan for where it would go, only to discover that the plan isn’t going to work. The stories sometimes seem to write themselves…but other times, the research seems to do the writing instead; this being one of those times.
When the production of this story began it was with the intention of trying to explain what should be the “controlling authority” in terms of defining torture, a precedent set by the European Court of Human Rights, or Title 18 of the United States Code.
Having reviewed both statute law and numerous judgments in law courts worldwide as well as the recent Senate Judiciary Committee testimony of Professor Jeffrey Addicott, and having conducted an interview with Dr. Addicott personally, I’ve come to two rather surprising conclusions: It may not really matter whether waterboarding is torture…and although neither I nor Dr. Addicott might have seen it coming, it’s starting to appear that he and I might agree on one thing:
Waterboarding, whether it’s torture or not, is a war crime.