Everyone agrees that water boarding is torture, even Mukasey, as indicated in the following exchange with Senator Edward Kennedy:
“So let me ask you this,” Mr. Kennedy said. “Would waterboarding be torture if it was done to you?”
“I would feel that it was,” Mr. Mukasey said.
The reason Attorney General Mukasey could not admit that torture is torture is because, as the voice of the United States in legal matters, he would be admitting that the US committed torture, which is an international war crime. So, Mukasey effectively used the fifth amendment of the Constitution to avoid self-incrimination, the "self" being the United States of America. He did it on behalf of us, or should I say U.S.?
The illegality of waterboarding is not a boarder line judgment. Senator Patrick Leahy reminds us, "we prosecuted Japanese soldiers for waterboarding Americans during World War II."
Waterboarding often leads to lungs filling with water, actual drowning, not just the "simulation" of drowning. When the French committed waterboarding, during their occupation of Algeria, people died from it. French journalist Henri Alleg describes his experience during the Algerian war.
George Bush is responsible for besmirching the Country by making torture an open policy of the United States. It is a war crime for which he should face a grand jury.
New York Times, Mukasy Demurs on Torture, January 30, 2008.