Monday, October 16, 2006

"...A Final Arbiter On Torture"

Mark this down as a job title I wouldn't want to have: "The Final Arbiter of Torture."

Helen swings her cast iron skillet once again at the head of Tony the Snow job, and comes up empty. The point of "homework" is that you do it before, not after class, Mr. Snow (see his comments below).

Incidentally, is anyone else slightly freaked out that the president will be one to decide what is and what is not torture? Does he have the moral and ethical fiber to do so justly?
Helen, you've had your hand up, sorry.

Q I wanted to talk about the bill the President will sign tomorrow.

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q It makes him a final arbiter on torture.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q Does he have any guidelines, does he have any advisory group? And how will he know?

MR. SNOW: What I've actually -- Helen, in response to your question, I called White House legal counsel --

Q Can you repeat the question?

MR. SNOW: Yes, how will the President know when it's torture and when it's not, and avoid having torture.

Q And how will he approach these cases?

MR. SNOW: And how will he approach the cases.

The White House Office of Legal Counsel is actually putting together a paper so that -- I knew that this would come up. What they will do is help me describe to you, as accurately as possible. It's a very complex series of issues, but there are definitions that outline what constitutes torture, and I will be happy to share those. And I'll get them for you tomorrow.

Q When are you going to release those?

MR. SNOW: I'm not going to release it. I'll share it with you tomorrow. It's not like a formal release, it's just me trying to do my homework, and I don't have it done yet.

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