Cheney isn’t the only one defending the Bush administration. Political strategist and former senior Bush adviser Karl Rove told Fox News Sunday that the CIA’s use of water boarding wasn’t torture because it was “designed” to let the victim live.
While discussing the issue with Chris Wallace, Rove said the CIA’s techniques weren’t torture, despite consisting of a “series of near drownings,” sleep deprivation, and unnecessary “rectal feedings.” Wallace pointed asked Rove if all that wasn’t “torture by any definition,” and Rove predictably disagreed.
“Let’s get the rectal feedings out,” Rove said, “in this report, there are nine references on 14 pages to rectal feedings. And four of those five, it is the result of a hunger strike by the detainee.”
And that makes it perfectly okay, apparently.
He also asserted that the waterboarding, slapping detainees, and solitary confinement were also “carefully designed“:
The tests were, do they involved severe pain or suffering or do they involve severe and prolonged mental pain or suffering? And in each instance, these procedures were designed so that they would not pass those barriers.
Rove went on to add that the detainee’s “feet were elevated so there’s little or not chance of any fluid getting into the lungs,” and that “very careful standards set in place so these would help break the the resistance of the detainee without placing their life in danger.”
I want everyone to take a good look at this: this is one of the finest red herrings that I’ve ever seen.
Nobody is accusing them of trying to kill the detainees. What we’re saying is that it’s torture, and nothing Rove said did anything to debunk that it was torture. In fact, he almost all but confirmed it. Whether or not the interrogations were designed to kill the detainee is indifferent to the ultimate truth that it is torture.
As if to make my point for me, Rove compared it to what the Japanese did during World War II, “where the Japanese attempted to drown people by basically pouring water in their mouths,” to make the point that we were doing it differently.
When the best you can do is say “Well, we’re not World War II Imperial Japan” — the same Imperial Japan that butchered Chinese by the thousands, carried out horrific human experiments on innocent civilians, and executed brutal gang rapes of women, in addition to the untold damage done to Koreans and the Southeastern Asian populations — you seriously need to reevaluate your policies. Something went horribly wrong somewhere.
You can watch it below: