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Kerry Condemns Waterboarding, Not Tasering

The great John Kerry (D-AQ) has announced that he will vote against the nomination of the new attorney general because of Michael Mukasey’s failure to flatly condemn “waterboarding” under all possible circumstances.

His pronouncement appears on his website:

Kerry Statement on Mukasey Nomination

by Rick Albertson on November 1st, 2007

WASHINGTON D.C. – Senator John Kerry made the following statement today on the nomination of Judge Michael Mukasey for Attorney General of the United States.

“Judge Mukasey’s refusal to classify the barbaric practice of waterboarding as torture waves a red flag about his nomination to serve an Administration that has adhered to the Cheney doctrine on executive power and torture. I am not comfortable confirming anyone who cannot see that this method of interrogation is antithetical to American values and traditions – especially not to a position that is charged with representing our entire justice system. We need to reestablish faith in the Department of Justice." …

Well, is waterboarding really worse than tasering?

Lest we forget, Mr. Kerry seemed to have no qualms about the latter when it was done to protect him:

University of Florida student Tasered at Kerry forum

University of Florida student Andrew Meyer is Tasered and arrested after causing a disturbance at a town hall forum, which featured Senator John Kerry, at the UF Auditorium on Sept. 17, 2007.

It’s hard to find recent data, but in 2004, when questions about the use of tasers were more popular there was quite a lot of reporting about the deaths tasers had caused.

At the time the Seattle Post-Intelligencer ran several articles on the subject, and published this informative chart:

Note that just in the years from 2000 to 2004 at least 79 people died due to being tasered.

According to a report from Amnesty International released in 2006, more than 150 people were killed by tasers in the US in the five years between June 2001 and February 2006:

Taser related deaths pass the 150 mark

Since June 2001, more than 150 people have died in the USA after being shocked by a taser. Of those deaths, 85 have occurred in the USA since Amnesty International released its report (in November 2004) calling for a suspension on the use and transfer of these weapons.

Amnesty International raised its concerns in its previous report that the number of taser-related deaths had been rising each year. There were three deaths reported in 2001, 13 in 2002, 17 in 2003 and 48 in 2004. In 2005 there were 61 taser-related deaths, and by the mid February 2006 there have already been 10 deaths.

Meanwhile, how many people have died from waterboarding?

So far I not been able to find any authoritative report to indicate that waterboarding has led to any deaths in recent years.


And more to the point, when has the safety of a city or even a nation been protected by a taser?

Still, Mr. Kerry is a Senator, a famous moral paragon. He must surely know best.

But someone should ask him that since we can no longer waterboard these bravos, no matter what the stakes, is it okay if we just taser them a little?

How could Mr. Kerry object?

Or is his personal safety worth more than say that of a squadron of troops in Iraq or an American city?

This article was posted by Steve on Thursday, November 1st, 2007. Comments are currently closed.

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