So previously, John Negroponte had acknowledged that the U.S. used waterboarding when he said in an interview that the technique “has not been used in years.” http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/01/negroponte_confirms_use_of_wat.php
And now CIA Director Michael Hayden has stated that waterboarding has been used only 3 times – on Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/cia_director_confirms_details.php
When the word of use of waterboarding began to seep into the news, the administration continued its mantra of saying it does not comment on specific interrogation techniques and also said that the U.S. DOES NOT torture. When Dana Perino was specifically asked, does that mean that the administration considers waterboarding to be legal, the answer was, again, that they don’t comment on specific interrogation techniques. http://tpmmuckraker.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/02/we_dont_discuss_interrogation.php
But now that a member of the administration (actually 2) have admitted that we used the technique, I wonder if Dana Perino’s tune will change? I suspect not.
But here’s the problem. I’m trying to find a link to the story, but I recall something from the fall where I think CIA Director Michael Hayden was giving testimony to Congress and he was asked would the U.S. consider waterboarding to be torture if it was done to U.S. citizens or military members and he couldn’t answer. But one of the main reasons behind JAG Corps opposition to the use of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” which many people would consider torture is the fact that the U.S. can no longer assume that other countries or entities will follow the Law and Rules on torture and treatment of prisoners. And how can the U.S. criticize, with any degree of credibility, any other country in the world that figures the use of waterboarding or any other interrogation technique is essential to ITS national security. Can you imagine the Iranians taking some wayward sailors prisoner and figuring they could waterboard them because they might have information on a pending U.S. strike on Iranian nuclear facilities. So should the U.S. expect any other country in the world to rally to our side in such a situation? Or do you think that many countries – even allies of ours – might actually say something along the lines of, you reap what you sow?