February 1, 2008  

An intelligent call

TO DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE MIKE McCONNELL for stepping away from the Bush administration’s coyness on whether waterboarding is torture. In an interview in The New Yorker magazine, McConnell said the legal test for torture should be “pretty simple: Is it excruciatingly painful to the point of forcing someone to say something because of the pain?” And he went further on the specifics of waterboarding. “For me it would be torture,” he said. “My own definition of torture is something that would cause excruciating pain.” McConnell is right on both counts.