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Nov 09 2012

Romney Reaffirms Pro-Torture Stance

In case you had any doubts that a Mitt Romney president would have restarted the Bush administration’s torture regime, here’s the audio of him answering a question about it. He doesn’t think waterboarding is torture and he’s going to go back to the “enhanced interrogation” techniques.

Q: Waterboarding: do you think it’s torture?

Romney: I don’t. … We will have a policy of doing what we think is in our best interest. We’ll use enhanced interrogation techniques that go beyond what’s in the military handbook right now.

There is no question that waterboarding is torture. Period. None. We have prosecuted many people for it over the last century, from Japanese military officers to at least one county sheriff.

By the way, this is another reason why Obama should be hammered for not prosecuting those who ordered and engaged in torture from the Bush administration, as required by the Convention Against Torture. It really does act as a deterrent. The CIA officers who did the waterboarding demanded legal coverage before they did it, which is why the infamous torture memos were written. If people are prosecuted and convicted for it, future administrations have a lot less legal wiggle room. As things stand, those who might face such choices in the future know damn well that the rule of law will not apply to them.

13 comments

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  1. 1
    Christoph Burschka

    Maybe someone should tell him that the election is over; there’s no need to alienate voters even further…

  2. 2
    pacal

    Shorter Mitt Romney – When we do it to others it isn’t torture; when others do it to us it is torture.

  3. 3
    Raging Bee

    We’ll use enhanced interrogation techniques that go beyond what’s in the military handbook right now.

    …thus continuing that fine Republican tradition of ignoring everyone who actually has working knowledge of the issues. Because people who actually study things are unmanly wusses. Did this upper-class twit ever bother to ask himself WHY certain techniques weren’t in the military handbook? I can’t say for sure, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t because the MILITARY people who wrote that MILITARY handbook were squeamish about hurting people.

    As an American, I’m ashamed and disgusted that someone this stupid was even taken seriously as a candidate for any office.

  4. 4
    composer99

    I would go so far as to say other countries should at least spread rumours about issuing an indictment against the pertinent Obama administration personnel for failing to follow up on torture prosecutions.

    Not gonna happen any time soon, I realize. But a guy can hope.

  5. 5
    MikeMa

    @composer,
    Fine & dandy to threaten Obama officials but wouldn’t it be more effective to get the Bush officials who actually, you know, tortured people? Against treaties we have signed?

    Romney speaking about allowing waterboarding in his administration is somewhat pointless and of much less importance than many of the other things he planned to do ‘on day one’ which would have hurt a lot more people.

  6. 6
    schmeer

    Is there any reason that prosecution of torture could not happen under some future administration?

  7. 7
    composer99

    MikeMa:

    I agree completely.

    I’m just wishing there were effective ways to put Obama et al‘s feet to the fire to get on it.

  8. 8
    heddle

    Is there any reason that prosecution of torture could not happen under some future administration?

    And can it be coupled with prosecution for assassinating a US Citizen?

  9. 9
    Marcus Ranum

    I’m just wishing there were effective ways to put Obama et al‘s feet to the fire to get on it.

    What, do you expect them to prosecute themselves?

  10. 10
    raven

    Has Romney ever had an original thought in his life?

    I’ve never seen it.

    This seems to be what happens to people brought up in authoritarian mind control religions like Mormonism. They end up as meat robots or Zombies.

    How else can they believe dozens of impossible things anyway?

    This might explain the marked cognitive impairment that the cults produce.

  11. 11
    Trebuchet

    @Raven: Romney’s business experience also explains why he’s the way he is. CEO culture is built around taking credit for the successes of others and blaming others for their own mistakes.

  12. 12
    Bronze Dog

    I can’t stand the pro-torture nuts.

    First, there’s the obvious barbarism, but apparently having the tiniest bit of compassion or moral backbone is a weakness, according to these folks. It’s not going to be doing our reputation any favors either.

    Second, it’s ineffective at getting the truth, which only makes it more immoral because it causes suffering for no benefit. Naturally, this also makes torture a stupid idea even if you throw out morality.

    Third, it encourages corruption because you can get a torture victim to say whatever you want them to say and use their false confessions to manipulate the government and the public. That makes it not only immoral, but subversive to the nation’s interests.

  13. 13
    Nick Gotts
    Is there any reason that prosecution of torture could not happen under some future administration?

    And can it be coupled with prosecution for assassinating a US Citizen? – heddle

    Is the latter actually illegal? If so, I’m all for it, though as a non-American I’d really prefer a US President who didn’t either torture or assassinate anyone. Well, a man can dream.

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