Tuesday, October 17, 2006

The Final Arbiter of Torture

Helen, you’ve had your hand up, sorry.

Q I wanted to talk about the bill the President will sign tomorrow.

MR. SNOW: Yes.

Q It makes him a final arbiter on torture.

MR. SNOW: Right.

Q Does he have any guidelines, does he have any advisory group? And how will he know?

MR. SNOW: What I’ve actually — Helen, in response to your question, I called White House legal counsel –

Q Can you repeat the question?

MR. SNOW: Yes, how will the President know when it’s torture and when it’s not, and avoid having torture.

Q And how will he approach these cases?

MR. SNOW: And how will he approach the cases.

The White House Office of Legal Counsel is actually putting together a paper so that — I knew that this would come up. What they will do is help me describe to you, as accurately as possible. It’s a very complex series of issues, but there are definitions that outline what constitutes torture, and I will be happy to share those. And I’ll get them for you tomorrow.

Q When are you going to release those?

MR. SNOW: I’m not going to release it. I’ll share it with you tomorrow. It’s not like a formal release, it’s just me trying to do my homework, and I don’t have it done yet.

Really inspires confidence, eh?

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