Confessions From Torture Must Be Tossed

Ex-Guantanamo prosecutor condemns waterboarding pleas
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Feb 17, 2008 1:57 PM CST
CIA Director Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2008. Hayden said waterboarding may be illegal. (AP Photo/Kevin Wolf)   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – So-called “confessions” obtained by waterboarding should be tossed out of court, Guantanamo's ex-chief military prosecutor writes in the New York Times. Morris Davis quit over the practice last year and regrets that the Pentagon is allowing waterboarding evidence to prosecute six 9/11 suspects. "Military justice has a proud history. This was not one of its finer moments."

Waterboarding also erodes Americans' "good guys" status, Davis writes. Americans could once say of torture, “we don’t do stuff like that"; today, the phrase must be “we generally don’t do stuff like that." But “virtues requiring caveats are not virtues,” Davis warns. "Saying a man is honest is a compliment. Saying a man is 'generally' honest or honest 'quite often' means he lies."