Winner 2013 Webby Awards for Best Political Website
Top Banner, Site wide
Apr 21, 2014

 Choose a size
Text Size

Top Leaderboard, Site wide





The Divide


Truthdig Bazaar more items

 
Ear to the Ground

Ashcroft Defends Waterboarding at House Hearing

Email this item Email    Print this item Print    Share this item... Share

Posted on Jul 17, 2008
Ashcroft
AP photo / Susan Walsh

Discussing the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques” before the House Judiciary Committee on Thursday, former Attorney General John Ashcroft said he didn’t think waterboarding constituted torture and that the technique produced “very valuable” reports. He was testifying on the Bush administration’s interrogation rules.


CNN:

Testifying on the Bush administration’s interrogation rules before the House Judiciary Committee, Ashcroft defended the technique while answering a question from Rep. Howard Coble, R-North Carolina.

“Waterboarding, as we all know, is a controversial issue. Do you think it served a beneficial purpose?” the congressman asked.

“The reports that I have heard, and I have no reason to disbelieve them, indicate that they were very valuable,” Ashcroft said, adding that CIA Director George Tenet indicated the “value of the information received from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques—I don’t know whether he was saying waterboarding or not, but assume that he was for a moment—the value of that information exceeded the value of information that was received from all other sources.”

[...] “I believe a report of waterboarding would be serious, but I do not believe it would define torture,” Ashcroft said, responding to questions from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California.

Read more

More Below the Ad

Advertisement

Square, Site wide

New and Improved Comments

If you have trouble leaving a comment, review this help page. Still having problems? Let us know. If you find yourself moderated, take a moment to review our comment policy.

By Inherit The Wind, July 20, 2008 at 5:57 am Link to this comment

Why blow up the Brooklyn Bridge?  Isn’t it more effective to just sell it?
(After all, if it was good enough for Bugs Bunny, it’s good enough for me!)

JG, you are funny.  You blindly accept that “inside-job-Israel-connection-conspiracy” garbage about 9/11 (first propagated from the Arab world in the days immediately following the 9/11 tragedy), yet you just as rigorously deny that another major landmark and artery could be targeted.

Is it that you just don’t believe that Al Qaeda and the Taliban are capable of planning and executing attacks against the US?

Report this

By jersey girl, July 19, 2008 at 8:27 am Link to this comment

JtBlack: Nothing I could present to you would convince you that 9/11 didn’t happen as the govt told you it did.  If you haven’t questioned the events of that day and all the strange “coincidences”, then there is no need to further discuss it with you. Your mind is made up.  I don’t have the answers to 9/11, I just have hundreds of questions as do others which have not been answered by the whitewash commission.

ANd I stand by my own opinion that the brooklyn bridge story is propaganda and torture should never be used in our name by the government.

Sorry, you don’t like those answers but they are my answers and I’m not asking you to adopt them as your own.  You asked, I answered.  Now onward and upward…

Report this

By moineau, July 19, 2008 at 8:17 am Link to this comment

lovely. go forth and torture. screw you.

Report this

By jersey girl, July 19, 2008 at 7:14 am Link to this comment

Jblack:  The brooklyn bridge false flag and the people involved is minor compared to the 9/11 false flag. OR if you believe the 9/11 fairytale, it is minor compared to 19 hijackers with box cutters hijacking 4 airliners and defeating the entire u.s. defense system.

Report this

By moineau, July 19, 2008 at 7:05 am Link to this comment

j-how could you have previously seen what i suggested? mayer’s completed book came out yesterday and her interviews were on democracy now! and grit tv yesterday. therefore, you have not seen her completed argument. what was offered in the past were but parts of investigative journalism. now we have the whole. so why won’t you give up an hour?

it appears to me that that is the difference between those leaning toward the right and those leaning toward the left. the left will sit through testimony by those on the right, those they don’t necessarily agree with, but the right will not do the same. they get most of their information filtered for them by others on the right.

thus, the ivory tower of which i spoke.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 18, 2008 at 8:39 pm Link to this comment

JBlack, July 18 at 10:20 am #

Jersey and Wind: You both talk of torture as if I advocate torture. I did not.


Wind: While I disagree with much of your characterizations you at least answered my question. You would use the technique to save lives.

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

You miss my point, J. It’s not that I wouldn’t use it, it’s that I ACCEPT that I will have a pay a heavy price for using torture, even imprisonment and dishonor. 

You also miss the more important point: our society does not accept vengence and rage as valid retribution.  That’s why the investigators and prosecuters and judges and juries must all be disinterested parties, seeking, (supposedly) the truth and nothing else.  Punishiment is pre-determent and dis-interested (which is not UN-interested) parties decide what is best for our society.

Therefore, me, torturing a prick to save my family, have chosen a path in which I will have to pay a heavy price.

As I quoted: “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time!”

Report this

By moineau, July 18, 2008 at 3:36 pm Link to this comment

c’est juste, inherit. bravo.

“But if they do, then the torturer should consider it SO important that he is willing to accept two consequences of his actions:

1) the torturee, even if guilty of a crime is, BY A TRUE INTERPRETATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION, un-convictable.  He walks.

2) You, the torturer WILL go to jail for various forms of assault and kidnapping.  As you deserve.

Is your cause that brings you to torture sufficient to suffer these consequences? If the answer is “no” then torture cannot be justified.  Soldiers put their bodies and lives on the line for their country.  Are you willing to put your personal freedom on the line for it? No? Then, if you STILL think torture is justified but you won’t pay the price, then you are a coward.”

Report this

By moineau, July 18, 2008 at 3:33 pm Link to this comment

oh, and i’m done with this commentary. it’s obvious that the twain shall not meet here. HOWEVER, the courts will eventually decide, not you nor i.

Report this

By moineau, July 18, 2008 at 3:30 pm Link to this comment

mr. black:
waterboarding is not illengal because no one will say it is? listen to mayer answer that issue!

i’m still waiting for you to answer my dare to watch mayer on democracy now. it’s not a question of adult or child, it’s hearing both sides. i’ve sat through ashcroft, feith, gonzales, wu and addington. but you have not heard the whole mayer story from the horse’s mouth.

so continue to live in your ivory tower, mr. black. but i suppose the ivory tower is preferable to guantanamo, abu ghraib and baghram. if you were an innocent and being held interminably, i’m sure you’d feel the same way you do now…

it’s not a question of personal choice, it’s a question of government policy… you speak with the same emotionalism as the administration after 9-11. that does not equate to a legal rationale.

Report this

By jersey girl, July 18, 2008 at 2:45 pm Link to this comment

JTBlack: I’m against torture.. Period, end of story.
There’s no sense in arguing back and forth about it.

As for the Brooklyn Bridge plot being broken up the use of torture. Nope, do not buy it.  It’s more bs propaganda. The accused is probably some poor sucker they framed. This administration is all about catapulting the propaganda.  They spend millions doing just that.

Sorry for not reading all your posts. I’d like to have time to read everything everyone posts but I just don’t have that luxury.

Report this

By jersey girl, July 18, 2008 at 11:41 am Link to this comment

JtBlack:  They used torture to save the Brooklyn Bridge? Who says..and why do you belive them?  You really think “they” don’t lie?

Waterboarding is not the same as some fraternity hazing.. though some of those have caused death and have been banned on most campuses because of it.

When you are captured by the “enemy”,death is not a game.  You know your captors are serious and do indeed intend to kill you.  So as I know that you know, there is a HUGE difference between the two.

As far as someone being tortured to save my family.  Come on, that is unlikely to the point of being ridiculous.

  Closer to the truth would be my own government torturing my family for not going along to get along.  THAT is the dilemma we are faced with.  For if a government is willing to use torture to extract information from prisoners of war who have not been proven guilty of any crime, then what would they be willing to do to their own citizens who protest their policies in order to shut them up?

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 18, 2008 at 10:08 am Link to this comment

JBlack, July 18 at 7:34 am #

Would you water board an individual to save the life of your Son, Daughter, Mother or Husband or Wife?
*************************************

You bet your @$$ I would. And I’d do it knowing full-well I’d probably go to prison for 20 years or more.  And saving the lives of my wife and kids would be worth it, a bargain. Because I wouldn’t be a disinterested party.

But I wouldn’t try to cheat my way out of paying the price. Our society cannot and should not tolerate such behavior.  That 70’s show “Beretta” had the line “Don’t do the crime if you can’t do the time.”

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 18, 2008 at 10:02 am Link to this comment

jersey girl, July 18 at 7:26 am #

JTblack:  Waterboarding just doesn’t work.  People who are being tortured will say anthing to make it stop. If you don’t believe that, perhaps after Ashcroft, we should try it out on you.
***********************************

For once, Jersey Girl, I agree with you completely.  The torturer’s argument is always “But what if by torture you can prevent a hundred million-zillion people from dying?”  These situations NEVER come up.

But if they do, then the torturer should consider it SO important that he is willing to accept two consequences of his actions:

1) the torturee, even if guilty of a crime is, BY A TRUE INTERPRETATION OF OUR CONSTITUTION, un-convictable.  He walks.

2) You, the torturer WILL go to jail for various forms of assault and kidnapping.  As you deserve.

Is your cause that brings you to torture sufficient to suffer these consequences? If the answer is “no” then torture cannot be justified.  Soldiers put their bodies and lives on the line for their country.  Are you willing to put your personal freedom on the line for it? No? Then, if you STILL think torture is justified but you won’t pay the price, then you are a coward.

The idea of not having to pay for your actions is a completely Rethuglican one—see Bear,Stearns and FannieMae/FreddieMac.

Report this

By jersey girl, July 18, 2008 at 9:30 am Link to this comment

Jtblack: My answer is absolutely not.  I’m one of those who believes torture, including waterboarding does not work. 

As for saving the country, the bush crime family had every opportunity to stop the “terrorists” and didn’t.

I personally don’t believe the official fairytale of 9/11 and want a new un-whitewashed investigation started. But if you do believe 19 arabs brought down our entire defense system on that day, then you also know, bush & his cronies did nothing to prevent it.

Report this

By jersey girl, July 18, 2008 at 8:26 am Link to this comment

JTblack:  Waterboarding just doesn’t work.  People who are being tortured will say anthing to make it stop. If you don’t believe that, perhaps after Ashcroft, we should try it out on you.

Report this

By moineau, July 18, 2008 at 7:43 am Link to this comment

jblack, take a look at today’s democracy now, http://www.democracynow.org or laura flanders’ http://www.grittv.org for interviews with jane mayer and then answer this question: what good did waterboarding and other extreme interrogation procedures do? NADA, buddy. false information given to stop the torture even entered powell’s un speech on iraq’s “weapons of mass destruction” (without his being told about the intelligence community’s doubts). beyond the abhorrence and universal criminality of torture (see geneva), it just doesn’t work.

the answer to your question, from me, is NO WAY, and with cause! torture or techniques edging on torture just lead to more torture. take down the restraints of geneva, and people will die, as they have in afghanistan and iraq.

i dare you to watch the mayer interviews! then come back here and give a response.

Report this

By moineau, July 18, 2008 at 7:22 am Link to this comment

with jane mayer’s new book “the dark side”, phillipe sands’ “the torture team”, and michael ratner’s upcoming “the trial of donald rumsfeld”, i am becoming more and more hopeful that all these arrogant administrators will face charges on behalf of the american people and those detainees who were tortured and murdered. i just hope, as does vincent bugliosi, that it will be an AMERICAN courtroom. no justice, no peace!

Report this
Purple Girl's avatar

By Purple Girl, July 18, 2008 at 7:01 am Link to this comment

Since our Congress and SCOTUS are complicite in these crimes, it is time for the International Community to take the matter of prosecution on.
Add the accomplices in Both Houses, The ‘Highest Court’ and the private Corps who facilitated these High crimes. Then we must begin trials for Treason against those who have blocked US from taking this Orgnaized Crime Syndicate down- along with Pelosi & Reid (and a good number of other so called ‘Dems’), covert operatives of the CheneyCo Regime.

Report this

By andrushka, July 18, 2008 at 3:57 am Link to this comment

I agree with both posts above.  Mr Ashcroft should definitely try it for himself to be able to have a VALUABLE judgement. Every other debate is pointless and a waste of time.  In fact every proponent of those kinds of treatment “torture”? should be invited to experience it. Bush and co too.

Report this

By jersey girl, July 17, 2008 at 8:50 pm Link to this comment

Let’s waterboard Mr Ashcroft and see what he calls it when they let him come back up for air.

Report this

By Inherit The Wind, July 17, 2008 at 7:03 pm Link to this comment

Our elected government sits and debates on whether torture, expressly forbidden by several amendments, is legally torture.

A nation that prides itself as the bastion of freedom, as the anti-dictatorship, debates the merits of torture.

How could we have sunk so low?

Report this
Newsletter

sign up to get updates


 
 
Right 1, Site wide - BlogAds Premium
 
Right 2, Site wide - Blogads
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 
 
 
Right Skyscraper, Site Wide
 
Join the Liberal Blog Advertising Network
 

A Progressive Journal of News and Opinion   Publisher, Zuade Kaufman   Editor, Robert Scheer
© 2014 Truthdig, LLC. All rights reserved.