President Obama’s nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch, in her first Senate confirmation hearing on Wednesday, admitted that certain actions taken by the CIA constituted torture and were illegal. In an exchange with Senator Patrick Leahy in which he asked her if waterboarding was torture, she responded:
Lynch: “Waterboarding is torture, Senator.”Given her comments, Lynch should immediately appoint a special prosecutor to seek charges against the CIA for waterboarding three detainees (and likely many more) as soon as she’s confirmed. Since there is no statute of limitations on torture, and the UN Convention Against Torture – ratified by the Senate and signed by President Reagan – requires that the United States prosecute violators, this should be an open and shut case for Lynch.
Leahy: “And thus illegal?”
Lynch: “And thus illegal.”