FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:
A former CIA officer says that waterboarding has "probably saved lives" but he now considers the tactic torture.
John Kiriakou participated in the capture and questioning of Abu Zabaydah, the first al Qaeda suspect who was waterboarded. Kiriakou says he didn't witness the waterboarding, but described Abu Zabaydah as defiant and uncooperative until the day it happened. He says after just 35 seconds of waterboarding, the terror suspect broke down and the next day told his American captors he'd tell them whatever they wanted.
Kiriakou says the technique probably disrupted "dozens" of planned al Qaeda attacks, led to the capture of other suspects and indirectly led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Muhammed. But now he has mixed feelings about it, telling the Washington Post quote:
"Americans are better than that… Maybe that's inconsistent, but that's how I feel. It was an ugly little episode that was perhaps necessary at that time. But we've moved beyond that." unquote.
Meanwhile, CIA chief Michael Hayden is appearing before congressional intelligence committees today and tomorrow to answer questions about the agency's destruction of those videotapes showing the use of so-called "alternative" interrogation techniques of two al Qaeda suspects.
The New York Times reports that CIA lawyers gave written approval in advance for the destruction in 2005 of hundreds of hours of these videotapes.
Here’s my question to you: Are there any circumstances under which waterboarding or enhanced interrogation techniques are justified?
Interested to know which ones made it on air:
Gerry from San Diego writes:
Hi Jack, There is no circumstance when our country should engage in waterboarding or any other kind of torture. To do so changes us from being the shining example in the world to being a banana republic.
Jack, I'm sorry, call me weak, call me a terrorist-lover, call me a bleeding heart liberal, I don't care. I don't feel comfortable stooping to THIER level ever. Two wrongs don't make a right and just because our enemies don't respect human rights doesn't make it ok for us to do the same. No, torture is never ok, even if there's a chance it could save my life. I'd rather die proud of my country than live ashamed of it.
Jay from Blue Earth, Minnesota writes:
Waterboarding is a useful and needed form of interrogation any and every time it has the possibility of yielding information that will result in the saving of American lives.
Torture is torture, no matter the name you give to it: waterboarding or extreme techniques, in any case, it amounts to torture. And torture is never justified. At least, it is not justified if we aspire to achieve civilization.
Cliff from Monroe, Connecticut writes:
I watched as both planes slammed into the twin towers on 9/11. If it stops an attack on us again, yes!
Dave from Lancaster, New York writes:
Enhanced interrogation techniques would be justified in order to learn about what happened re: millions of missing e-mails, CIA operative identity leak, WMDs, data mining, destroyed videos, you get the idea.
Maybe Jack will read yours tomorrow.