THE BLOG
11/21/2016 06:03 pm ET Updated Nov 22, 2017

Why Rep. Peter King's Claim 'Waterboarding Is Not Torture' Is So Horrifying

Rep. Peter King told CNN's Chris Cuomo this morning that he would "support" bringing back waterboarding because he doesn't "consider it to be torture at all."

On Sunday morning's ABC's This Week, former CIA chief Gen. Michael Hayden said that waterboarding "produced good intelligence for America."

Another day and another torture supporter is brought on our airwaves.

As I said yesterday, it"s sad that we have to litigate this illegal and destructive idea of torture all over again, with people who are misrepresenting the facts and successes behind that depraved practice.

CNN"s New Day brought on Rep. King to discuss Trump's national security team, which included a lengthy chat about Rep. Mike Pompeo being named the new Director of the CIA.

Cuomo asked, "Mike Pompeo, you can talk about his pluses all day long. The concerns are basically that he could be a return to a more invasive past that wiretapping is good, different torture techniques and waterboarding are good and effective. Do you believe he embraces these types of behaviors?"

Rep. King spouted off nonsense that President Obama was too politically correct in dealing with terrorism and said, "I believe that Mike Pompeo represents more realistic approaches...but waterboarding was used against three people and it was very effective. I supported waterboarding. I would support it today. it's not torture. It was used in three cases and it was very effective."

Again, this is not true.

Read Ali Soufan's interview in The New Yorker, in which he disputes King's contentions for some clarity.

The claim about waterboarding leading to unmasking of K.S.M. as the mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks is similarly false. We got that information in April, 2002, before the contractors hired by the C.I.A. Counterterrorism Center even arrived at the site. One by one, the successes claimed by E.I.T. proponents have been shown to be false.

Cuomo correctly states, "But the finding was that it is torture and a lot of the Intel people said it wasn't effective. It was only effective as a recruiting tool for your enemies because they were telling people you were doing it. Why make this part of his ---?

Rep. King replied, "I would disagree with that. I would disagree with that. You have people like Michael Hayden -- who supported it."

Notice how Gen. Michael Hayden's dishonest answers on ABC's THIS WEEK on Sunday, were then repeated as fact by Rep. King.

That's the Dick Cheney method of passing on misinformation in the media.

Maybe we should ask someone who felt that waterboarding wasn't torture and tried it.

It's not a shock to see that he changed his mind in six seconds.

"Conservative radio talk show host Erich "Mancow" Muller decided to try waterboarding Friday to prove it is not torture. Problem: After being waterboarded for about six seconds, he declared the technique "absolute torture."

Mr. MULLER: Look, all that's been done to this country, and I heard about water being dropped on someone's face, and I never considered it torture. Even when I was laying there, I thought this is going to be no big deal. I go swimming. It's going to be like being in the tub. I do now want to say this: absolutely torture. Absolutely. I mean, that's drowning."

Apparently the five year, 528 page Senate Report on Torture isn't good enough for Rep. King as well.

As the Washington Post writes:

"An exhaustive five-year Senate investigation of the CIA's secret interrogations of terrorism suspects renders a strikingly bleak verdict on a program launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, describing levels of brutality, dishonesty and seemingly arbitrary violence that at times brought even agency employees to moments of anguish.

A prominent section of the Senate report is devoted to high-profile claims that the interrogation program produced 'unique' and otherwise unobtainable intelligence that helped thwart plots or led to the capture of senior al-Qaeda operatives.

Senate investigators said none of the claims held up under scrutiny, with some unraveling because information was erroneously attributed to detainees subjected to harsh interrogations, others because the CIA already had information from other sources. In some cases, according to the panel, there was no viable terrorist plot to disrupt."

The NY Times editorial board writes:

"But 'at no time' did the C.I.A.'s torture program produce intelligence that averted a terrorism threat, the report said. All of the information that the C.I.A. attributed to its 'enhanced interrogation techniques' was obtained before the brutal interrogations took place, actually came from another source, or was a lie invented by the torture victims -- a prospect that the C.I.A. had determined long ago was the likely result of torture."

As Sen. John McCain described in this video at the Halifax International Security Forum, interrogations are guided by the Army Field Manual, which lists the specific techniques that are allowed to be used. Waterboarding is not on the list and it has been outlawed by U.S. law.

We are signatories on the Geneva Conventions and it is outlawed there as well.

All the evidence that has been presented to Congress and the American people says that torture did not work.

Since it can't be the facts, the only reason I can think of why Rep. King doesn't agree that waterboarding is torture is because -- freedom!

This post originally appeared on Crooskandliars.