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A Vote for Mukasey Is a Vote for Torture

November 06, 2007
Columns
Column default

Judge Michael Mukasey admits waterboarding is repugnant, but refuses to say whether it amounts to torture. Yet Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer and Dianne Feinstein voted for his confirmation as U.S. attorney general anyway. Mukasey, Schumer and Feinstein should talk to French journalist Henri Alleg. An editor of a paper in Algeria, he was waterboarded by the French military in 1957, when the French were trying to crush the Algerian independence movement. The 86-year-old journalist spoke to me from his home in Paris:

“I was put on a plank, on a board, fastened to it and taken to a tap [water faucet]. And my face was covered with a rag. Very quickly, the rag was completely full of water. You have the impression of being drowned. And the water ran all over my face. I couldn’t breathe. It’s a terrible, terrible impression of torture and of death, being near death.”

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