We sleep safe in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
I acknowledge that you believe justification existed for the methods that were used. I give you a lot of credit for yielding the rhetorical point on torture while still arguing for the right to the continue to employ the techniques.
But nobody is "undefining" anything.
TORTURE is a combination of extreme malice and extreme permanent physical or pyschological harm. From what we know, nobody TORTURED anybody.
Fear is not torture. Are horror movies torture movies?
Deception is not torture. Is a poker game an act of terror?
Even murder might not be an act of physical torture.
I wouldn't want to be waterboarded. But I would choose a CIA waterboarding over being beheaded. Or having a tire placed around my neck and set on fire. Or being stoned to death by an angry mob.
I too will reserve the right to use REAL TORTURE if necessary to save humanity. But I will not plead guilty based on what I know of our recent conduct.
OK, since we have no official or authoritative benchmark on the absolute definition of “torture”, let’s just move on to say that waterboarding is a practice that should be reserved and limited to nasty operators such as KSM.
Anything further discussion is exactly the kind of semantic hairsplitting that appeals to lawyers. It’s also the this same lawyerly discussion that took place among White House staffers in 2003 and 2004.
When the simple answer then as now would have been to drop the “is it or isn’t it” arguments, concede that it may be, take responsibility for it, and move on.
There may occasionally be things that patriots must do without further deliberation, and then leave the consequences to a jury of one’s peers.
That’s pretty much what GWB and his staff did in this case and you can’t really fault them for it.