More Torture Than Not

April 28th, 2009at 10:19pm Posted by Eli

Well, that makes, like, one Republican in Congress who’s semi-rational on torture – or at least, that’s what I thought at first:

Rep. Don Manzullo apparently disagrees with his GOP colleague John Shimkus on the issue of “enhanced interrogations,” according to the comments he made an interview with WGN Radio’s John Williams this morning. Listen to this particular exchange, in which the Rockford Republican acknowledges — after Williams recounted the case of Abu Zubaydah — that “apparently waterboarding doesn’t work” (WGN has posted full audio of part one and part two of the interview).

Later in the interview, when asked by Williams whether waterboarding consitutes torture, Manzullo responded, “It’s more torture than not.”

It’s all downhill from there, though:

But Manzullo and Shimkus still agree on one crucial and disturbing point: Those in the Bush administration who authorized torture should not face any legal repercussions for their actions. Manzullo justifies his position using a variety of rationales, none of which hold up to much scrutiny.

For example, after admitting that waterboarding is torture, Manzullo tells Williams that he doesn’t think any laws were broken:

WILLIAMS: So you don’t think there were any U.S. laws or any international laws that we should look into. Nothing went wrong here? No laws were broken?

MANZULLO: Probably at this point, not.

WILLIAMS: You’re kidding?

MANZULLO: Probably.

WILLIAMS: You’ve read, I’m sure, the torture memos. You don’t think any laws were broken?

MANZULLO: It depends upon whether or not you think that the enemy combatants come under the Geneva Accords. …. That in itself there is a split of legal opinion.


This here is my favorite part:

Yet while Manzullo acknowledges that waterboarding “doesn’t work,” he doesn’t seem convinced that we should stop torturing. As you can hear in the first clip posted above, he erects an elaborate hypothetical in which a school locked and filled with 500 students is set to be bombed in 30 minutes and a person with knowledge of the school’s keys is in custody. “That,” he tells Williams, “would be a very unusual situation where anything goes in order to exact the codes and stop that slaughter.”

Damn.  Someone watches waaaay too much 24.  Since when do terrorists do anything remotely resembling that scenario?  “Exact the codes”?  WTF?

Entry Filed under: Republicans,Terrorism,Torture

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