The later is more prominently seen in what the conservative movement is passing off as a "national discussin". But, what they don't realize is that their arguments revolving around torture, specifically water-boarding, are so poorly constructed and contain little to no regard to time and widely recorded events. More than that, they seem to have erased from their memories and case in which their Presidential diety, Ronald Reagan, and his own Justice Department prosecuted Texas Sheriff James Parker and four of his deputies for water-boarding prisoners.
George W. Bush’s Justice Department said subjecting a person to the near-drowning of waterboarding was not a crime and didn’t even cause pain, but Ronald Reagan’s Justice Department thought otherwise, prosecuting a Texas sheriff and three deputies for using the practice to get confessions.
Federal prosecutors secured a 10-year sentence against the sheriff and four years in prison for the deputies. But that 1983 case – which would seem to be directly on point for a legal analysis on waterboarding two decades later – was never mentioned in the four Bush administration opinions released last week.
More from Jason Leopold @ The Public Record.
Also, Kossack MinistryOfTruth has a fantastic diary on this subject where they show cases of torture that were prosecuted. One, as recent as 2005.