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Obama Calls Waterboarding 'Torture' At APEC News Conference

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HONOLULU, HI - NOVEMBER 13: U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a news conference at the conclusion of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit on November 13, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images) | Getty

KAPOLEI, Hawaii -- President Barack Obama says the interrogation technique known as waterboarding constitutes torturing, disputing Republican presidential candidates who say they would reinstate the practice.

Obama called waterboarding "torture" and said it was "contrary to America's traditions" during a news conference at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Republicans Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann said during a Republican debate on Saturday that they would reinstate the technique that former President George W. Bush authorized and Obama banned.

The practice simulates drowning and is viewed as torture by many.

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