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.
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.