Daily Revolt

January 13, 2008

Spy Chief: Waterboarding Would Torture me

Tortured logic:
The nation's intelligence chief says waterboarding "would be torture" if used against him or if someone under interrogation actually was taking water into his lungs.

But Mike McConnell, in a magazine interview, declined for legal reasons to say whether the technique categorically should be considered torture.

"If it ever is determined to be torture, there will be a huge penalty to be paid for anyone engaging in it," McConnell told The New Yorker, which published a 16,000-word article Sunday on the director of national intelligence.

[...]As McConnell describes it, a prisoner is strapped down with a wash cloth over his face and water is dripped into his nose.

"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful! Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture," McConnell told the magazine.

A spokesman for McConnell said he does not dispute the quotes attributed to him in the story by Lawrence Wright, who won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007 for The Looming Towers, a book on al-Qaeda and the Sept. 11 attacks.

McConnell said the legal test for torture should be "pretty simple."

"Is it excruciatingly painful to the point of forcing someone to say something because of the pain?" he said.

Here's FOX's spin:
The nation's intelligence chief says waterboarding "would be torture" if used against him or if someone under interrogation actually was taking water into his lungs.

But Mike McConnell, in a magazine interview, declined for legal reasons to say whether the technique categorically should be considered torture.

"If it ever is determined to be torture, there will be a huge penalty to be paid for anyone engaging in it," McConnell told The New Yorker, which published a 16,000-word article Sunday on the director of national intelligence.

The comments come as the House Intelligence Committee investigates the CIA's destruction of videotaped interrogations of two Al Qaeda suspects. The tapes were made in 2002 and destroyed three years later, over fears they would leak. They depicted the use of "enhanced" interrogation techniques against two of the three men known to have been waterboarded by the CIA.

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