President Bush defended his administration's detention and interrogation policies for terrorism suspects on Friday, saying they are both successful and lawful.
The two Justice Department legal opinions were disclosed in Thursday's editions of The New York Times, which reported that the first 2005 legal opinion authorized the use of head slaps, freezing temperatures and simulated drownings, known as waterboarding, while interrogating terror suspects, and was issued shortly after then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales took over the Justice Department.
That secret opinion, which explicitly allowed using the painful methods in combination, came months after a December 2004 opinion in which the Justice Department publicly declared torture "abhorrent" and the administration seemed to back away from claiming authority for such practices.
"We stick to U.S. law and international obligations," the president said, without taking questions.
Mock executions are illegal, both under US law and international treaties. How is waterboarding different than lining someone up against a wall and holding a mock firing squad?