Skip to main content

Last night on Hardball, when discussing why he was opposed to bringing Gitmo detainees over to a supermax prison in Thomson, Illinois, freshman Congressman Aaron Schock (R-IL) defended the use of waterboarding on detainees -- with a slight twist.

Schock: "I would not limit our intelligence agencies' ability to get information from people.  If they have a ticking time-bomb or some critical piece of information that can save American lives, I don't believe that we should limit waterboarding or quite frankly any other alternative torture technique, if it means saving Americans' lives."

For the moment, leaving aside Schock's boilerplate right-wing justifications for why he believes waterboarding is a good thing, I will give him a small, small modicum of credit for admitting what Dick Cheney will not -- that waterboarding does, in fact, constitute torture.  I would even argue that Schock went one step further than even NPR, whose ombudsman Alicia Shepherd explicitly banned the use of the word "torture" when referring to waterboarding or other brutal interrogation methods authorized by the Bush Administration.

That said, Schock still has no idea what the hell he's talking about, and calling it torture instead of "enhanced interrogation techniques" is mostly a cosmetic change when he's still advocating for a reprehensible method of interrogating detainees.  He engages in the same denialism that Cheney does by stating earlier in the interview that "there have been no torture techniques, no alternative interrogation techniques, nothing negative in a bad way has happened at Guantanamo Bay," despite the evidence from multiple reports that say otherwise.  He also justifies the use of torture with the "ticking time bomb" theory, even though counterterrorism experts have roundly debunked that scenario as a myth, and the fact that torture does not yield accurate or reliable information anyway (to say nothing of the evil and moral repugnance of the practice itself).

Still, while I doubt this young Republican's admission will have any appreciable effect on the public's opinion of torture (which, sadly, is supported either "often" or "sometimes" by a majority of Americans, including 47% of Democrats), Schock's words do clearly illuminate exactly what right-wingers are cheerleading.  If only every major media outlet would muster up the same honesty to call torture precisely what it is and the courage to unequivocally condemn anyone who supports it.

************************************

Cross-posted at Docudharma

Originally posted to SuperBowlXX on Wed Dec 16, 2009 at 06:55 PM PST.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site