Asked about his views of waterboarding this weekend, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani said that as President he would support the use of “enhanced” interrogation techniques. In an interview with Bloomberg’s Al Hunt, Giuliani claimed such techniques are effective and that he used “intensive questioning” as a federal prosecutor in New York to elicit information from the mafia:
I do know a lot about intensive questioning and intensive questioning techniques. … Now, intensive questioning works. If I didn’t use intensive questioning, there would be a lot of mafia guys running around New York right now and crime would be a lot higher in New York than it is. Intensive question has to be used.
While claiming “we should not torture,” Giuliani has been ambiguous in describing the exact interrogation tactics he approved, but he maintains they were “very aggressive”:
“They got ’em because we arrested them, we got very significant charges on them, and we questioned them for long, long periods of time. With very aggressive techniques.” [LINK]
“I think putting people under some degree of pressure is done all the time…I did it to get information from the Mafia.” [LINK]
Giuliani’s vague statements raise questions as to what kind of “techniques” he endorsed as a federal prosecutor, and specifically, how he parses “the line between” torture and intensive questioning. Recently, Giuliani joked about the use of sleep deprivation and said he was “not sure” whether waterboarding constituted torture.