JUSTICE RUTH BADER GINSBURG: Suppose the executive says, “Mild torture, we think, will help get this information?” It’s not a soldier who does something against the code of military justice, but it’s an executive command. Some systems do that to get information.
PAUL CLEMENT, DEPUTY SOLICITOR GENERAL: Well, our executive doesn’t….
In the case of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a high-level detainee who is believed to have helped plan the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, C.I.A. interrogators used graduated levels of force, including a technique known as “water boarding,” in which a prisoner is strapped down, forcibly pushed under water and made to believe he might drown.
These techniques were authorized by a set of secret rules for the interrogation of high-level Qaeda prisoners, none known to be housed in Iraq, that were endorsed by the Justice Department and the C.I.A.
Surely this qualifies as at least “mild” torture?
I stole this juxtaposition from Eric Muller, who has some legal analysis here. Bottom line: did Clement knowingly lie to the court? And if so, who else knew about it?