Gingrich: Waterboarding Isn’t Torture

Add Newt Gingrich to the list of Republican presidential candidates — all but Huntsman and Paul — who think waterboarding is not torture and is therefore perfectly acceptable.

GINGRICH: Waterboarding is by every technical rule not torture. [Applause] Waterboarding is actually something we’ve done with our own pilots in order to get them used to the idea to what interrogation is like. It’s not — I’m not saying it’s not bad, and it’s not difficult, it’s not frightening. I’m just saying that under the normal rules internationally it’s not torture.

Nonsense. The United States has prosecuted soldiers from other countries, and even our own soldiers, for waterboarding. And this argument that because we try to prepare our own soldiers for it by using a limited, safe version it can’t be torture is just moronic.

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  • http://howlandbolton.com richardelguru

    Newtered is moronic??

    Who knew?

  • cullen

    I’ve been waterboarded. It was to train us in what would happen WHEN WE WERE TORTURED, so that if we were TORTURED, it would not completely break our minds.

    I challenge Newt and all the other torture-lovers to go through waterboarding. I was 19 and in the best physical and mental fitness of my life, as well as being through special forces selection and halfway through special forces training. I was tough, I was young, I was strong-willed.

    I lasted 15 seconds before I broke and gave everything away. I would have told them anything to make it stop.

  • http://rockstarramblings.blogspot.com/ Bronze Dog

    The United States has prosecuted soldiers from other countries, and even our own soldiers, for waterboarding.

    As always, the double standards of red team/blue team morality are a defining part of what it means to be a modern conservative. They really need to just admit to themselves that they believe in a morality that strives for maximum subjectivity and arbitrary circumstantialism.

  • MikeMa

    Waterboard all candidates who think it isn’t torture. Especially Newty to find out where the fanny & freddie money went.

    The larger problem is the applause. More insanity from the GLOP base.

  • Gregory

    Who is with me in wanting to see Newt waterboarded? I mean, since it isn’t torture and all….

  • eric

    If I thought they weren’t flaming hypocrites, I’d accept this as a difference of opinion (i.e., you’re wrong-headed, but okay, whatever).

    But the truth is, they’re going to call it torture any time its done to an American soldier by Al Qaeda or some other terrorist group.

  • d cwilson

    They really need to just admit to themselves that they believe in a morality that strives for maximum subjectivity and arbitrary circumstantialism.

    Their morality, such as it is, is actually pretty easy to decode:

    1. America is always right.

    2. Torture is wrong.

    3. Therefore, nothing America does could be considered torture.

  • http://www.rodlamkey.net reverendrodney

    Gingrich must have consulted his two expert witnesses, Hannity and Limbaugh. Gaa.

  • daveau

    Some of the captured Doolittle Raiders were waterboarded by the Japanese during WWII. The entire world considered it torture then, including the Japanese. Now, we’re either talking about “waterboarding lite”, or else it depends on who is pouring the water, apparently.

    Anyone else notice that the Senate passed the Indefinite Detention of Suspected Terrorists bill? We do a lot of illegal shit in the name of patriotism.

  • Mr Ed

    Next republican “debate” will be held at an undisclosed location and an activity that is not torture will be performed on each candidate to ensure honest answers.

  • Aquaria

    The GOP is now composed of the kids who tore the wings off flies for fun and put firecrackers up frogs’ butts and lit them.

  • http://www.atomiccitizen.net/ EricJ

    and pepper spray is a food product

  • Aquaria

    Gingrich must have consulted his two expert witnesses, Hannity and Limbaugh. Gaa.

    He consulted the same thing they did: His ignorant, lying ass.

  • http://festeringscabofrealityblogspot.com fifthdentist

    A soldier in the Spanish-American War and following put-down of native resistance to the Americans wrote home about the waterboarding of a Filipino that he witnessed and referred to it as “pure torture.”

    Funny how people more than 100 years ago were more evolved than the Newt.

    Also the reason military people are waterboarded, you see Newt, is to prepare them to withstand — wait for it — TORTURE.

    Elect me to Congress and I will introduce a law that says anyone who says waterboarding is not torture will be waterboarded.

  • eric

    Elect me to Congress and I will introduce a law that says anyone who says waterboarding is not torture will be waterboarded.

    Pppppbbbbbtttt. Lets not sink to their level of idiocy. The correct response to Newt’s comment would ideally be an immediate, sharp, drop in poll numbers, having his pollsters report back that the sharp drop is due to his support for torture, and eventual non-election.

    The first two won’t happen…but the last one probably will.

  • jjgdenisrobert

    Question: how can waterboarding be an interrogation technique, when the person being waterboarded is in absolutely no position to respond (what with having a torrent of water going down their windpipe and all that)

  • equisetum

    The only people who think waterboarding is not torture are in the group of people who have never been waterboarded.

    But that’s old news.

    For reference: http://themoderatevoice.com/32893/talk-show-mancow-waterboarded-says-its-absolutely-torture/

  • abb3w

    @12, EricJ:

    and pepper spray is a food product

    Well, in so far as some hot sauces are stronger than pepper spray; however, my understanding is that first those are all labeled as a food additive, and second that the people who use anything in that grade are whacko.

  • fastlane

    I dunno about waterboarding, but listening to the pure, unadulterated stoopid coming from Newt, Santorum, Cain, Bachmann, etc., these days sure is torture.

  • http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/ peicurmudgeon

    @ 18, abb3w

    Well, in so far as some hot sauces are stronger than pepper spray; however, my understanding is that first those are all labeled as a food additive, and second that the people who use anything in that grade are whacko.

    Actually, Pepper sprays are much higher on the Scofield Scale than any food peppers. Habenero’s are about 300,000, the highest actual peppers are 800,000 – 1m and pepper spray 3-5m.

    http://peicurmudgeon.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/the-science-behind-pepper-spray/

  • sqlrob

    @pericurmudgeon:

    Hot sauce != Hot Pepper

    You can make a sauce hotter than the pepper it’s made from.

  • Pieter B

    Bronze Dog:

    As always, the double standards of red team/blue team morality are a defining part of what it means to be a modern conservative. They really need to just admit to themselves that they believe in a morality that strives for maximum subjectivity and arbitrary circumstantialism.

    I propose that we stop calling them “modern conservatives” and call them what they are — “postmodern conservatives.”

  • dan4

    “The United States has prosecuted soldiers from other countries, and even our own soldiers, for waterboarding.”

    Citation(s) needed.

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    Who is with me in wanting to see Newt waterboarded? I mean, since it isn’t torture and all….

    I admit to fantasies of prowling the DC area with a van and a team of waterboarders, to show politicians what “torture” means.

    This is a fun read about waterboarding, that echoes what cullen says above: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=448717

  • http://www.ranum.com Marcus Ranum

    dan4 writes:

    Citation(s) needed.

    Try http://robinrowland.com/garret/2005/11/waterboarding-is-war-crime.html and search for the description of the hanging of Lt. Col Sumida.

  • Michael Heath

    Ed writes:

    “The United States has prosecuted soldiers from other countries, and even our own soldiers, for waterboarding.”

    dan4 @ 23 responds:

    Citation(s) needed.

    My goodness, Wikipedia answers your call for a cite in its record on waterboarding. I assume you’re informed enough to know we’ve prosecuted soldiers from other countries so I didn’t bother to seek vignettes for that claim. For the latter assertion, see the court martials of Captain/Major Edwin F. Glenn [1] and General Jacob Smith [2] who administrated waterboarding soon after the Spanish American War of 1898.

    1: http://goo.gl/uwnju

    2: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/1007/6647.html (It’s Jacob F. Smith, not “H.” as noted in Wikipedia, which can be validated via Encyclopedia Britannica though I can’t link to that since that would be put me over the 2-link max to avoid moderation.)

  • Michael Heath

    dan4,

    Challenging a blogger to a cite, if done in good faith, should succeed a least a mild effort to validate the questioned claim on your own. Otherwise one can justifiably be accused of publically demonstrating either laziness coupled to a sense of entitlement or that one is a lazy troll.

    In this case your question is answered by Wikipedia; I didn’t even have to spend a few seconds googling.

  • Freeman

    @Michael Heath #26: I can’t link to that since that would be put me over the 2-link max to avoid moderation.

    Thank you! I have a comment here over a week old still pending moderation, last I checked. I was wondering why that one comment got stuck there whilst others went right on through. I was scratching my head trying to figure out which keyword I had written to trip the moderation filter. Thanks to you I now know how to avoid comment moderation purgatory.

  • abb3w

    @20, peicurmudgeon:

    Actually, Pepper sprays are much higher on the Scofield Scale than any food peppers.

    @21, sqlrob:

    Hot sauce != Hot Pepper

    Exactly. In fact, some hot “sauces” are made (mostly “Blair’s”) that are hotter than the 5MSc for weapons-grade pepper spray.

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