In an interview yesterday with Fox News’s Greta Van Susteren, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) panned President Obama’s recent release of Bush-era OLC memos approving torture. “I thought release of the memos was a bad idea,” Lieberman said. “It wasn’t necessary. It just helps our enemies. It doesn’t really help us.” Lieberman then said waterboarding should always be on the table:
Q: First of all, is waterboarding torture?
LIEBERMAN: Well, I take a minority position on this. Most people think it’s definitely torture. The truth is, it has mostly a psychological impact on people. It’s a terrible thing to do. … I want the president of the United States in a given circumstance where we believe somebody we’ve got in our control may have information that could help us stop an attack, an imminent attack on the United States like 9/11 or, god forbid, worse, we ought to be able to use something like waterboarding.
Lieberman said he does “believe General Hayden” in that waterboarding “really did work” to prevent terrorist attacks. Watch it:
Last year, Lieberman downplayed the severity of waterboarding, saying, “It is not like putting burning coals on people’s bodies.” In February, he joked about the torture tactic at Washington’s Alfalfa dinner.