In an extensive interview with the Des Moines Register’s editorial board, Michele Bachmann defended the practice of waterboarding. But would she herself ever get waterboarded, so that she could more knowledgeably speak about it? Don’t be absurd.
During her defense of the practice, Bachmann disagreed with the questioner’s premise that waterboarding is torture: “It was called an enhanced interrogation technique that was used to bring about information.” She did concede, though, that it is “uncomfortable.”
“If I had knowledge that we could use something like a waterboarding to be able to save the American people, would I use that?” Bachmann asked rhetorically. “Yes I would, because waterboarding does not kill anyone. Is it uncomfortable? Yet, it’s uncomfortable, but I am more concerned that we would prevent aircraft from going into the Twin Towers, taking them down, and taking out 3,000 innocent American lives, than I am about the comfort level of a terrorist, and what that means for them.
“Because again, this is done under monitored conditions, where — is it uncomfortable? Yes, I don’t deny that it’s uncomfortable. But a person is not going to lose their life, nor will they be permanently injured or permanently impaired by this. And it’s done on very unique, strict circumstances.”
The discussion on waterboarding begins at the 29:30 mark below:
Bachmann was asked by member of the editorial board: “If you think it’s not that bad, would you ever willingly submit to it, just to see what it’s like?”
“Well I think that would be absurd to have the President of the United States submit themselves to waterboarding,” Bachmann responded — but of course, she is not right now President of the United States, though she is running for the office.
Of course, it should be noted that people who have been voluntarily waterboarded declare in virtually unanimous terms that it is torture, such as Christopher Hitchens or the conservative radio host Eric “Mancow” Muller.
Another example is the eccentric former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who has discussed how he was waterboarded as part of his Navy SEAL training (which the military does in order to teach its elite troops to resist torture techniques). Ventura famously declared: “I’ll put it to you this way: You give me a waterboard, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I’ll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders.”