When asked about the practice of waterboarding at a recent debate, former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani declared that he would allow “every method [interrogators] could think of and I would support them in doing it.” Attorney General Mike Mukasey consistently refused to render a legal opinion on the matter.
In its December issue, the military magazine Armed Forces Journal chastises Giuliani and Mukasey for “their tacit support for waterboarding”:
Let AFJ be crystal clear on a subject where these men are opaque: Waterboarding is a torture technique that has its history rooted in the Spanish Inquisition. In 1947, the U.S. prosecuted a Japanese military officer for carrying out a form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian during World War II.
Waterboarding inflicts on its victims the terror of imminent death. And as with all torture techniques, it is, therefore, an inherently flawed method for gaining reliable information. In short, it doesn’t work. That blunt truth means all U.S. leaders, present and future, should be clear on the issue.
Furthermore, Armed Forces Journal leans conservative. Four out of six of its contributing editors are either conservative pundits or have positions in conservative think-tanks:
Peter Brookes — Senior Fellow, Heritage Foundation
Christopher Griffin — Research Fellow, American Enterprise Institute
Seth Cropsey — Former Bush administration member; fellow at the Hudson Institute, Heritage Foundation, and AEI.
The other two contributing editors — Sean Naylor and William Matthews — are noted military journalists with no political affiliation.
Military officials have long disdained the Bush’s administration’s sanctioning of torture. Yesterday, 28 retired generals and admirals wrote to the House and Senate intelligence committees “urging them to require the CIA to abandon harsh interrogation techniques.”
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