In a tense interview on Fox News today, host Shep Smith repeatedly pressed Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-MI) if waterboarding is torture. Hoekstra initially dodged, saying, “I don’t know if it’s torture or not.” “I’d like an answer, sir,” Smith responded. Asked a fourth time, Hoekstra finally said he believes that interrogations used in the “immediate aftermath” of 2002 — which included waterboarding — were “consistent” with the law:
Q: And waterboarding is or is not torture?
HOEKSTRA: There is a wide range of waterboarding. I’m telling you, that I know waterboarding was used, Shep. I’m not mincing words. I’m saying that I believe the techniques used in 2002, in 2003, which included waterboarding in a specific format that I’m aware of how they used it, that I believe that was consistent with U.S. law.