The former head of the CIA is making the rounds plugging his book. He was interviewed by Mehdi Hasan of Al Jazeera news and it was a refreshingly hard-hitting interview where Hasan pressed him on the issue of whether waterboarding was torture. The whole 15-minute interview is good but the key point to listen to is the part beginning at around 5:00 minute mark where Hayden tries to defend the abominable practice of ‘rectal feeding’ of the prisoners at Guantanamo. Then at about the 6:00 mark, Hayden suggests that waterboarding when done by the US is not torture but if done by (say) Syria it would be.
What we see is a classic example of the legalistic reasoning adopted by apologists for US torture, war crimes, and other abominable practices. Hayden is by no means alone in talking like this. It is standard practice within the US political and media establishment to start with the premise that whatever the US does is right and use that as the narrowly defined standard for acceptability. They then argue that if anyone else deviates even slightly from what the US did, then that makes it wrong.
These people are so shameless and the fact that US interviewers never ask these kinds of questions is a sad reflection on them too.