..."Holder stated at the hearing that in his view waterboarding is torture." Lungren wondered:
Are Navy SEALS subjected to waterboarding as part of their training being tortured?
Holder: No, it's not torture in the legal sense because you're not doing it with the intention of harming these people physically or mentally, all we're trying to do is train them --
Lungren: So it's the question of intent?
Holder: Intent is a huge part.
Lungren: So if the intent was to solicit information but not do permanent harm, how is that torture?
Holder: Well, it... uh... it... one has to look at... ah... it comes out to question of fact as one is determining the intention of the person who is administering the waterboarding
Heh. I hear a tricycle going in circles, fast. Continuing...
Rep. Louie Gohmert: Whether waterboarding is torture you say is an issue of intent. If our officers when waterboarding have no intent and in fact knew absolutely they would do no permanent harm to the person being waterboarded, and the only intent was to get information to save people in this country then they would not have tortured under your definition, isn't that correct?
Holder: No, not at all. Intent is a fact question, it's a fact specific question.
Gohmert: So what kind of intent were you talking about?
Holder: Well, what is the intention of the person doing the act? Was it logical that the result of doing the act would have been to physically or mentally harm the person?
Gohmert: I said that in my question. The intent was not to physically harm them because they knew there would be no permanent harm -- there would be discomfort but there would be no permanent harm -- knew that for sure. So, is the intent, are you saying it's in the mind of the one being water-boarded, whether they felt they had been tortured. Or is the intent in the mind of the actor who knows beyond any question that he is doing no permanent harm, that he is only making them think he's doing harm.
Holder: [Pure BS warning here--ed.] The intent is in the person who would be charged with the offense, the actor, as determined by a trier of fact looking at all of the circumstances. That is ultimately how one decides whether or not that person has the requisite intent.
Holder should have had a "prepared statement" to which he could refer.
It's possible, of course, that Holder's intent was to confuse the reader. /sarcasm