“[Waterboarding] consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die.”

Today, a Senate report states that former VP Dick Cheney and former National Security Advisor and Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice both explicitly authorized the torture of prisoners.

Just so we are all on the same page here, there is no question about it, waterboarding is torture and the United States made it official policy to waterboard people. Ergo, it was the offiical policy of the United States to practice systemic torture. Waterboarding “consists of immobilizing the victim on his or her back with the head inclined downwards, and then pouring water over the face and into the breathing passages. By forced suffocation and inhalation of water, the subject experiences drowning and is caused to believe they are about to die.”

Yup, that’s torture. Just like porn, you know it when you see it.

This torture method dates back to the Spanish Inquisition and isn’t a subject up for debate. And yet, we debate. Why, you might ask? That answer could fill a doctoral dissertation, but the abriged answer involves sadistic fucks like Dick Cheney and the 24 hour news cycle.

So, it is resolved that waterboarding is torture. Now that we have that firmly established, what are we going to do with government officials that ordered illegal torture like Cheney and Rice? How about the citizens of the United States that actually tortured people?

Huzzah! That is a subject that can be debated. Thankfully, we have a tried and true method for such debates so we don’t have to debate how we are going to debate. Whew! That’s a relief. What is this method, you ask? We call it…trial by jury. There is no need for Congressional hearings or special commissions. These accused criminals should be processed through the Federal legal system.

Yes, our “justice” system is a charade of the highest order. But if we do not prosecute anyone and everyone who ordered or facilitated torture, regardless of intent or outcome, we are no better than the kangaroo courts of Pakistan that everyone seems so fond of deriding these days. Unlike Pakistan, the United States is supposed to have justice for all, not a separate standard for the ruling elite.

No matter what comes from torturing an individual, be it good information or sadistic pleasure, the torture still occurred and the perpetrator of that torture needs to stand trial. It really is that simple.