Romney Would Bring Back Torture

Last week, Charlie Savage, one of the best reporters in the country, wrote an article that revealed the existence of an internal memo from the Romney campaign that clearly states that, if elected, he would bring back torture — euphemistically called “enhanced interrogation techniques.”

By contrast, Mr. Romney’s advisers have privately urged him to “rescind and replace President Obama’s executive order” and permit secret “enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives,” according to an internal Romney campaign memorandum.

While the memo is a policy proposal drafted by Mr. Romney’s advisers in September 2011, and not a final decision by him, its detailed analysis dovetails with his rare and limited public comments about interrogation.

“We’ll use enhanced interrogation techniques which go beyond those that are in the military handbook right now,” he said at a news conference in Charleston, S.C., in December.

That memo itself says, “Governor Romney has consistently supported enhanced interrogation techniques” and that he had “recognized for years that the sounder policy outcome is the revival of the enhanced interrogation program.” The only question in the memo was whether he should say that publicly before being elected or merely promise a thorough review of the question after he’s in office. There is no question that a President Romney would bring back torture.

24 comments on this post.
  1. richardelguru:

    Wow! That’s in addition to the torture a win by Rmoney would bring in and of itself!!

  2. cry4turtles:

    Newsflash! This just in…Enhanced interrogation techniques elicits enhanced version of what interrogators want to hear!!!

  3. iangould:

    On the plus side there’s about a 50% chance Romney will reverse his position on this, as with any other issue.

  4. Didaktylos:

    What is it that causes these people to lose the sense that they were born with? (I am optimistic enough for the human race to believe that nobody could be born that stupid.)

  5. fifthdentist:

    There’s a 100 percent chance he would reverse it. The chance on any given day is just 50 percent.
    So, theoretically, during a Romney presidency he could reverse himself on the issue every day for four or eight years, depending on whom he’s speaking to on a particular day.

  6. raven:

    AFAICT, Romney is also a war monger and can’t wait to start another war.

    This time it will be Iran. There goes another few trillions of dollars and a few more thousands of American lives and who knows how many Iranian’s.

    This is what destroys empires. The Soviet Union collapsed because they had to keep suppressing their captive nations in Eastern Europe, their internal minorities, and hit the wall in Afghanistan.

    Something similar happened to the Romans, French, and British.

  7. democommie:

    Well, “enhanced interrogation techniques” will market test just fine to people who consider the euphemism, “second amendment remedies” as a more PC way of saying, “Kill the n—–!”.

  8. dingojack:

    Hey – no need to panic:
    “Mr. Romney’s advisers have privately urged him to … permit secret “enhanced interrogation techniques against high-value detainees that are safe, legal and effective in generating intelligence to save American lives…” [emphasis mine]
    All methods so far have been decisively 0 for 3 on those metrics, so no chance of it becoming actual policy then. (Yeah right).
    :\ Dingo

  9. Gordon:

    You know that Romney would never put his money where his mouth is like Hitchens did. If you dont think waterboarding is torture volunteer to prove it by being waterboarded.

  10. pinkboi:

    That almost makes me want to vote for Obama. Not going to happen this time, but Romney would be even worse.

  11. democommie:

    Perhaps in the RFC* fantasy world the first rule is:

    “Never say, “Kill the n—–, if there are n—— present.” ?

    * Republican Fight Club

  12. democommie:

    pinkboi:

    If you’re not voting for Obama then I hope that your state is very blue.

  13. Modusoperandi:

    Gordon “You know that Romney would never put his money where his mouth is like Hitchens did. If you dont think waterboarding is torture volunteer to prove it by being waterboarded.”
    Well, if there’s one person who is used to telling people what they want to hear…

  14. Marcus Ranum:

    If you dont think waterboarding is torture volunteer to prove it by being waterboarded.

    If you don’t think waterboarding is torture, then what’s the point of doing it at all?

    The question is “how unpleasant do we have to make your life in order to get you to tell us things to make it stop?” If you put me in a bad hotel room with nothing to do and nothing but Justin Bieber music piped in at low volume – by virtue of the fact that you’re trying to alter my behavior via coercion, it’s taking advantage of the powerlessness of the prisoner and the captor’s ability to inflict unpleasantness. We can (and do) argue all day about where on the scale of unpleasantness we fall, but that’s merely an implementation detail.

  15. sqlrob:

    Back? It went somewhere?

  16. Hercules Grytpype-Thynne:

    If you’re not voting for Obama then I hope that your state is very blue.

    Or very red.

  17. Bronze Dog:

    I remember watching a Let’s Play of a Discworld adventure game. The dungeon’s torturer referred to himself as a “confession extraction technician.” That’s probably the more accurate euphemism, since confessions are what torture is about, without regard for the truth of those confessions.

  18. illdoittomorrow:

    cry4turtles @ #2:

    Newsflash! This just in…Enhanced interrogation techniques elicits enhanced version of what interrogators want to hear!!!

    Well, as long the evil enemy not-a-soldier terrist says Iran is behind it all, that’s a win-win, no?

    /snark

  19. matty1:

    @ 11 Actually the first and second rules of Republican Fight Club are “You do not talk about reality”.

  20. Michael Heath:

    When it came to American casualties, Bush’s use of torture was particularly harmful to our military personnel in Iraq given our torturing people was the #1 motivating factor for people to join al Qaeda and fight us in Iraq That’s according to the military’s top interrogation officer who commanded the Air Force interrogation resources in Iraq. Now more bad results are being reported[1] which were directly due to Bush/Cheney administrating torture. The Bush White House consumption of intelligence gleaned from torture caused them to act irrationally [2], and make really piss poor decisions[3].

    1] Thomas Ricks, who reviews Eichenwald’s book in the above link, is one of the most knowledgeable trustworthy foreign policy experts and reporters I know when it comes to both Iraq and Afghanistan. He’s the author of Fiasco, which was about our war in Iraq.

    2] Previous reports have found that 9/11 caused Mr. Cheney to become so pyschologically troubled, it greatly diminished his ability to do the job. So this report just helps validate that finding and adds to more volume to the number of bad decisions he made.

    3] We already knew a primary motivator for Bush and Cheney to deploy torture was to get “intel” which helped them build a false case that Saddam Hussein was in league with al Qaeda. However they never really got much of any defective intel they were able to use this case, instead counting on other false arguments. According to Mr. Rick’s above-linked review, author Kurt Eichenwald found the false intel collected information had resulted in the Bush Administration developing very poor conclusions which ended up as policy.

  21. typecaster:

    The dungeon’s torturer referred to himself as a “confession extraction technician.” – Bronze Dog

    In Gene Wolf’s excellent novel “The Book of the New Sun”, the lead character grows up as an apprentice in the Torturer’s Guild. That’s the unofficial name, of course. Formally, they were the “Order of Seekers of Truth and Penitence”.

  22. pinkboi:

    I’m in a blue state and Obama is going to win anyway. But that’s beside the point. The outcome of the election is the same whoever I vote for. I’m not violating principle for faux pragmatism.

  23. democommie:

    pinkboi:

    ” The outcome of the election is the same whoever I vote for. I’m not violating principle for faux pragmatism.”

    Think Floriday, 2000.

    It very much makes a difference whether and how people vote. It may not matter in your state’s presidential vote but it certainly makes a difference in other elections. The way we wound up with the fucking Teabaggists is by not fighting them at every level of the process.

    Bigoted, irrational, anti-science assholes who become elected officials tend to stock their offices and any they can control with more of their kind–it’s not a good thing.

    I hear/read the argument that one vote can’t change anything, every election cycle; empirically, it is generally true. The problem with that attitude is that when it is fostered by otherwise intelligent individuals it influences how other, less intelligent individuals, who look up to them, act. I actually hear the argument that one vote doesn’t count from a lot of committed Teabaggists who are absolutely gonna vote for THEIR guy.

  24. kangxi:

    Re Pinkboi;
    I haven’t for anybody for several elections: I vote against somebody. As I used to tell my Chinese students: one of the great advantages of a democracy is not that you can vote good people in (that seldom happens) but you can vote the rascals out.

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