December 11th, 2007
12:51 PM ET

Is waterboarding ever OK?


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.

Nick writes:
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.

Juan writes:
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.

Filed under: CIA
soundoff (233 Responses)
  1. Jason L


    No waterboarding or advanced torture techniques will ever be effective. The U.S. cries afoul when other countries use torture, why can't the U.S. play by the same rules. If the U.S. starts using harsher tactics, so will other countries, its a never-ending vicious cycle, that we need to get out of. This Administration and its policies border on war crimes and violations of the Geneva Conventions and our own U.S. Constitution. Bush is a Tyrant and a Dictator and his actions, words speak loud and clear!!

    December 11, 2007 at 12:57 pm |
  2. Allen L Wenger

    No, and it doesn't make me feel any better, when the administration says that only the worst of the terrorists were tortured, because they were saying that we didn't torture anyone a few months ago. It doesn't make me feel confident when they say it saved American lives either, because they need to justify the torture of human beings in their own minds. The Germans justified the torture of Jews in WW II also. Once you agree to torture the worst of them, is it a very big change to torture everyone who is bad? Remeber, thanks to President Bush, a very large portion of the world thinks we are the bad guys.

    December 11, 2007 at 1:09 pm |
  3. Ray

    Waterboarding would certainly be justified for the highest levels of a democratic republic government who lie and mislead a nation into a war where over 3,000 of its finest are killed, mis-manage said war, spy on its citizens, illegally coverup and destroy evidence of its unconstitutional activites, and continually disregard the wishes of its citizenry. Oh, did I forget to mention same said officials don't consider it torture. so how about we test that theory on them.

    December 11, 2007 at 1:16 pm |
  4. bob klepak

    No Jack, NEVER!

    The issue isn't now, nor should it ever be, whether a particular type of torture is effective or how effective it is. The issues is the same issue in an American criminal trial, and that is not the guilt or innocense of a single defendent, but the resolve of a society to adhere to their self-proclaimed principles in the worst of situations, not the best.

    Just when did "The ends justify the means" replace "with liberty and justice for all"? The threat to our fledgling nation was considerably greater in 1789 then now and yet the conservative-revered framers of the Constitution saw fit to include protections from torture for all, rather then include efficient torture methods for some. Who's conservative NOW?

    December 11, 2007 at 1:18 pm |
  5. Alan from San Angelo, TX

    Whatever those reasons might be, expect them to populate like rabbits on both sides of the "conflict". We "only do this", turns into "its only reasonable to do more, as it works". Thus we're back to the ends justify the means, which certainly is the terrorist's perspective.

    December 11, 2007 at 1:23 pm |
  6. ralph

    Yes Yes YEs lets waterboard every body who says I dont Recall or I have no recollection and see if their memory comes back

    December 11, 2007 at 1:24 pm |
  7. Shane

    Torture has never been a reliable means of extracting information. The tortured individual just tells the interrogators what they want to hear just to get the torture to stop.
    The frightening thing is the de-evolution of the most civilized society on earth to a culture of hatred, hysteria and savagery. These tactics serve no purpose other than satisfying some primitive need for revenge. If you want accurate and reliable information use technology, intelligence and good old fashioned hard work to get at the truth.

    December 11, 2007 at 1:30 pm |
  8. Ben


    December 11, 2007 at 1:46 pm |
  9. David Kimball

    I think that they needed to get the info out of the Al Qaida leader in question. The big issue being ignored is. We now know Bush knew about it, so, yes, he did stand in front of us all and lied again! Remember when he said he didn't endorse or know of us using torture!!! Wow, I am ashamed of our president again! An historically sad time for the White House to have this dishonest, failed, dishonorable guy in OUR White House

    December 11, 2007 at 2:03 pm |
  10. roger from tahoe

    i think anytime the government uses torture, and waterboarding is torture, they should have to notify the press who they are planning to torture and why. if the president had to publicly justify his reason for torturing someone he would find another way to obtain intelligence.

    December 11, 2007 at 2:08 pm |
  11. John

    "War is Hell"....William Tecumseh Sherman.... Rules of War are a self contradicting concept that is inconsistent with itself. This isn't pass interference first and goal on the one. This is war and war means defeat your enemy.
    Pampa, TX

    December 11, 2007 at 2:10 pm |
  12. Ron

    It really doesn't matter what we think , Jack. This is no longer a country of , "We the people". The people lost in the last two elections and it doesn't matter any more! Simple majority isn't listened to anymore. This Administration has killed us! Is there anything in this country that isn't affected by Bush shoveling money to the rich top 1%?. Let me answer, NO!

    The stone has been cast! It seems that the moral majority's complete breakdown in ethics, morality, law, and anything else that remotely resembles the truth, is rubbing off on the Democrats and the American People.

    Torture? Torture is 12 million children without Medical Coverage. Torture is 40 plus million Americans without Health Care. Hundreds of thousands losing their homes. Millions have to choose between gas to get to work or their all ready to expensive prescriptions. Torture is watching flag draped coffin after coffin return from a war that was a mistake and is still being waged so Haliburton can loose some more tax dollars, and yet get more contracts???? Torture is watching daily, a President lie to us! Torture is walking into a VA Hospital! Torture is watching Bush destroy the rule of law and break it!

    Torture, Jack? Torture is waking every morning knowing Bush destroyed the good name of the American people and the rest of the world is laughing at us! It just doesn't matter anymore, Jack. We looked the other way and the Beast took power! The Horsemen ride!

    December 11, 2007 at 2:11 pm |
  13. Patricia

    Nope... If a terrorist is going to leave a dirty bomb some place, he has done so with the understanding that when that bomb goes off, he will also die. He will not care that he is killing millions of people & the hate he carries for US will out-weigh any pain we inflict on him.

    December 11, 2007 at 2:24 pm |
  14. Ken Johnson

    Only when tested on our leaders who are sworn to uphold the Constitution and knowingly violate our sacred document, and lie about not using torture.

    December 11, 2007 at 2:25 pm |
  15. Rich, McKinney Texas

    I suppose if it would save American lives then I could go with it. We have to remember that terrorists do not play by our rules. In other words they have no qualms about killing American babies women or children or anything really all in the name of their cause what ever it may be that day. Terrorists do not subscribe to the Geneva Convention. Chopping your head or my head off to boost rating s is A-O'kay with them. The bloodier the better. If it were your family that a terrorist were about to blow up wouldn't you want our government to do anything to protect them? Wouldn't you do everything possible to prevent it? Anything less is unacceptable. This is a new type of warfare which requires new tactics. Think outside of the box or get buried in one.

    December 11, 2007 at 2:35 pm |
  16. L. Alderman

    As long asit is carefully monitored by medical personnel and duration is also established, the process only generates extreme stress.Tthis non-lethal process, if it produces valuable information (such as intercepting deadly attacks) may be applied jusdiciously

    December 11, 2007 at 2:39 pm |
  17. Joy Paquin

    Waterboarding is torture and it's also against the law. This is the USA. We don't justify torture, period.Most of us would admit guilt under torture, it wouldn't matter if we were innocent, we would confess to stop the pain. Our country use to stand for integrity, why should we lower our standards for this administration?

    December 11, 2007 at 3:12 pm |
  18. john

    No and let’s not mince words, torture is never ever acceptable. In the realm of war, combat or challenge, interrogation is the ultimate form of engagement. It is the mental combat, literally a battle of wits. The use of torture by an interrogator is but a result of that interrogator’s diminished mental capacity and equivalent to armed combatants attacking innocent women and children. The danger, what goes around, comes around.

    December 11, 2007 at 3:16 pm |
  19. Pam from Virginia Beach

    Lets get a new law that says if our elected officials can't decide on an issue, that the Americian people get to vote on it. Wouldn't that solve all our problems? I bet they wouldn't DARE let that happen. It would light a fire under their butts for sure!Can you imagine how humiliating that would be for them! AMMENDEMENT TO THE CONSTITUTION!!!

    December 11, 2007 at 3:19 pm |
  20. L.M.Lee

    I can think of only three reasons where waterboarding would be justified Karl Rove,George Bush,and Dick Cheney all the big questions(problems) that need to be answered is tied up with these three.

    December 11, 2007 at 3:20 pm |
  21. Scott Gutauckis

    It never ceases to amaze me how self centered we are as Americans. So long as the pain and violence does not touch us personally we are ready to do whatever it takes to denounce any action taken by our government to protect our country. I wonder what the families of those people who have had their husbands, brothers, sisters and wives beheaded, burned or otherwise tortured think about waterboarding. I wonder what you would think if one of your family members was one of the the thousands who dies innocently as two airplanes crashed into the towers. War sucks, get over it.

    December 11, 2007 at 3:20 pm |
  22. Tom Ward

    Jack I think waterboarding should be used as a last resort we must protect the people now and this could help save many .

    December 11, 2007 at 3:23 pm |
  23. Ernest

    The only circumstance that i can think of would be if George Bush and Dick Cheney is on the board.

    December 11, 2007 at 3:40 pm |
  24. Jenny

    No. Torture SHOULD be something below the standards of the United States. If we condone waterboarding, we're no better than the terrorists we condemn.

    New York

    December 11, 2007 at 3:47 pm |
  25. David A. Morse


    Waterboarding is NEVER ok! Not under ANY circumstances. This and any other "enhanced" interogation tactics are Torture. As such, they are against our values. Human Rights and International Treaties.

    December 11, 2007 at 3:48 pm |
  26. David B.

    A former CIA officer says that waterboarding has “probably saved lives” PROBABLY JACK? If CNN is the most trusted name in news then demand a Yes or NO answer, and if fYes, then who when and where? Remember the WMD's and probably could destroy the US in a couple of weeks? nuff said!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:05 pm |
  27. Ed from Montana

    First point, this guy didn't come out to expose anything, he came out to justify torture, which he did because not a single reporter asked him for proof of his statement that it saved lives. Second point, if we hold our own lives above those of the ideals of this nation, then hundreds of thousands of soldiers have sacrificed their lives for a nation that does not deserve it. Third point, who would Jesus torture and under what circumstances?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:08 pm |
  28. J Krantz

    Yes. When writing an episode of 24. OOPS, I forgot! The writer's strike would have to be over before it was appropriate.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:13 pm |
  29. Astley

    Sure, it's okay when we turn into a country that resorts to suicide bombing as well.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  30. Mark

    I'm these methods are so legal and harmless the Bush & Cheney will be no doubt be pleased to volunteer for their use when the Congress investigates them for possible War Crimes under the Geneva Conventions.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  31. Christian Erickson, Ph.D.

    The answer is simple.

    Torture is torture.

    War crimes are obvious.

    Command responsibility for authorization of these actions is obvious is as well.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  32. Ben


    Yes! Waterboarding should be used only 2 more times. On Bush and Darth Vader to get them to admite they lied to us about the war and a host of other lies.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  33. Richard steele

    Yes, waterboarding is a great idea. Especially when used to get congress and the white house to do what the American people elected them to do.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  34. Sue McDowell

    No, no, no, not ever! America needs to be better than that.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  35. Mark

    Yes! When the sacrific of one saves hundreds or even thousands, almost any method is justified. Obviously, less severe tactics should be used first, but you have got to do what you have got to do.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:14 pm |
  36. Nick

    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.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  37. Richard

    The only time water boarding should be allowed is when we want to get the truth from our own government officials. Oh, and for anyone who doesn't have the courage to say water boarding is torture. Let's start with the President.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  38. cliff monroe,ct

    I watched as both planes slammed into the twin towers on 9/11. If it stops a attack on us again ,YES!!!!!!!!!!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  39. Engle Stahl

    As you can see Waterboarding has helped save lives in the past and I would be willing to have it applied to anyone that could help us prevent other great life loss. We should not be advertising the fact that we use it.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  40. Jeanne Robertson

    I do not want my ethics ruled by the masses.. I do not want torture, I do not want the USA torturing in my name either. There is not an excuse in the world for the use of torture. We must be better than this temptation.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  41. Nari, Pleasanton,CA

    Seems like it is justified when we use it for our purposes but when other countries do 'torture" it is 'barbaric". We no longer have the moral highground to dub others as 'bad guys" and ourselves as "good guys". Do we? Seems like we are all cut from the same cloth as long as we descend to the level of those we call "bad guys"!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  42. Alvin


    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |

    In my opinion, anything that protects our country and people from our enemies IS justified. What's the alternative? DEAD AMERICANS.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:15 pm |
  44. George D

    If the Heroshima and Nagasaki bombs were justified and suppositely saved MILLIONS of people and prolonging the war then WAterrboarding that does not Kill is Justified to save lives

    December 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  45. Jim Landis

    Hey, Guys, come on . . . These people are our enemies. They want to destroy
    us. We should use waterboarding or anything else to get the information we
    need to save our lives. They do it to us. Why shouldn't we do it to them?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  46. Ryan

    Yes, if it saves one american life. If you were to lose someone in your family due to a terrorists altack you would change your sad little mind to think of the big picture, the USA. Come on people get off the PC way of life and join reality.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  47. Rich

    Sure, Jack... for Bush & Cheney and Romney and anyone else who doesn't know that this is truly inhuman torture.

    We're better than that.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  48. MG

    As a Soldier, it is illegal for me to torture a detainee because it violates the Geneva Convention. The question that should be asked is, if it is legal to torture detainees, when did they no longer fall under the Geneva Convention? THAT is when waterboarding is ok. But they fall under it as long as they are in our custody. Aw, shucks. I guess we can't do at all.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:16 pm |
  49. Robert Eagerton

    We should waterboard President Bush and Dick Cheney to find out if they ever tell the truth.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  50. Mark Barillaro

    Mr Kiriakou has stated that we obtained valuable information from this technique. My feeling is that the kind of creatures who were responsible for 9/11 and the ongoing violence througout the world have relinquished any right to claim legal protection from such tactics. As for myslef, give me a 12 volt battery and a pair of channel locks, and I'll find out where Judge Crater is!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  51. Tobey

    Torture isn't appropriate under any circumstances. The new Attorney General and others who aren't sure if waterboarding is torture need to take this test: Waterboard them and then ask whether it is torture.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  52. Brian


    Waterboarding is torture, pure and simple. It makes somebody think they are dying. I would not expect this to be done to me by other countries, and therefore expect that we would not do this to others. Whether they are "enemy combatants" or not, they are humans and deserve humane treatment. America is supposed to be the pinnacle of jurisprudence. Whatever we decide will be precedent. This issue makes American politicians look like amateurs.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  53. Joe Makarewicz

    NO. Good cannot come from evil and waterboarding is torture and thus evil.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  54. Chris Robson

    Most definitely. Any time interrogaters are 99% certain that torture will save a human life it should be implemented. Just ask yourself, if you knew that your wife, husband, son or daughter would die unless a terroist was captured, would you want the terroist protected?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:17 pm |
  55. Jared

    Jack, we live in a different day and age and fight an enemy that has no permanent home and follows no rules except to inflict massive damage in anyway possible. The proof was with Abu Zabeda. Would we rather not extract necessary information to save American lives? Or would we rather be reeling from another terrorist attack, and ask ourselves could we have done more to prevent it after the fact?

    Los Angeles

    December 11, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  56. James (Former USMC)

    We don't need to torture people to get accurate information. During the up coming Republican and Democratic debates we should ask all the candidates where they stand on this issue. Then take the one's who say no or ( I need more information on waterboarding) have them one at a time on stage and on TV, be subjected to waterboarding. Then while they are going through this (torture) ask them if they have changed their minds. The reason for this, is because it won't be them (polititions) who will be tortured by our enemies it will be our military personel. That is unacceptable to me and most Americans. We should set the example for the world, not become part of the problem.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  57. Anthony

    Hey Jack,

    Hands down the Bush Administration is the worst of all time in the history of the U.S.; however, I support water-boarding over the other form of torture. I believe people should stop focusing so much on this technique and move onto other more important issues, i.e. the impeachment and incarceration of Bush and Chaney.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  58. Ardith Morris

    No, to put it simply, torture is torture. Nothing can change or justify that.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  59. Kevin

    No, waterboarding or any other form of torture is never ok. The United States is above torture. Endorsing torture would only put our military forces and clandestine operations in jeopardy: why would any other country treat our citizens according to the Geneva Conventions treaty, if the US government will not set the example and obey the doctrine?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:18 pm |
  60. John

    Using the word "EVER" in asking about waterboarding can't cover any of the hundreds of "SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES" that surely will occur in fighting terrorists. If there is or was such a situation in which a captured terrorist has information that could prevent the death of hundreds or thousands of people (September 11, 2001), I feel that waterboarding or similar techniques are fully justified. The difficulty is deciding when a special situation is in fact happening. The terrorists have no respect for lives, why should we worry about them?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm |
  61. Sue

    Yes! The questioning of Abu Zabaydah is a perfect example. We knew he was Al Qaeda, and that he knew something! Before his capture, I'm sure he would NOT hesitate to do worse harm to any American if given the opportunity. I find it impossible to to feel sorry for him, or to go easy on any known Al Qaeda operative who would love nothing better than to torture and kill innocent Americans. I disagree with former CIA operative, John Kiriakou - Americans shouldn't have to be better than that!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm |
  62. Christopher Woods

    I think the questions is: What would YOU do to save YOUR children? I think I would waterboard 100 terrorists if it would save my sons and daughters. Now think of the US Government as parents. Only with nearly 280 million children. Now please, Patriots, stow your bleeding hearts for the terrorist that wants to kill you and your children. Who cares about the rights of someone who's goal in life is to climb onto a bus full of children with a bomb strapped to his chest and tear apart 100 families. If you disagree, maybe your priorities are a bit mixed up. Or you can go live in Canada.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm |
  63. Troy

    Absolutely! Would you, or any other American sleep any better at night knowing that because the USA was "Mr. Nice Guy" with the people who are trying to hurt us, that is allowed them to succeed in another terrorist attack? Wake up world!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:19 pm |
  64. Jose

    No. Resorting to torture is a victory for the terrorists.

    Any information that can be attained by torture can be attained without it.

    San Diego

    December 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm |
  65. Annette Wright

    Well, why don't they ask all the wives, husbands, children and mothers and fathers who lost loved ones in 911 if they would have preferred to have the perpetrators of that disaster tortured by waterboarding rather than live through this horror? There are times when un-American behavior is necessary for our survival and safety.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm |
  66. Bob Timleten

    When we see heads of our guys and gals rolling down the street ask yourself if water boarding is O.K.?
    We should know by now they are not going to forget it.
    What goes around comes around.
    Do unto others.
    Something to think about.
    If we are going to do it then let's not cry about their rebuttals.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm |
  67. Brenda, Illinois

    ONLY exception would be to get the attendion of George W Bush and Dick Cheney. Maybe then they would understand the meanig of TORTURE. Maybe just maybe we can then move on to address other matters in a truly American way.

    No other means of logic will apparently get their attention.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm |
  68. Mary

    Cheney seems to like these techniques so much and has demanded that tortrue be used. I think he should be waterboarded, along with all the other laptop bombadiers in this administration who advocate it, before they so frivously tout its effectiveness. That is the only condition for which all these techniques should be used.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:20 pm |
  69. Jake

    Absolutely, these people are trying to kill innocent Americans. How could you limit the ways that you can protect the American people. The "torture" of one terrorist has most likely saved thousands of Americans.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  70. David A. Naas

    The question should be: Would you rather waterboard and get information that saves thousands of lives or do not waterboard and let thousands of people die. I think most Americans do not consider waterboarding as torture in spite of the extremely liberal media.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  71. Clint, Omaha

    "Do unto others as, you would have them do unto you!"

    It seems to me to be giving license for the above! Just as "pre-emptive strike" does!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  72. Michael D.

    Jack, these are people whose sole intention is our destruction. They behead our people and the people of our allies. And now we are to worry about whether we have been too rough on the people who mastermind these horrors? Even though we are a nation of compassion we are also a nation that has gotten the job done when it most needed to be done. Even though I personally don't approve of torture, I know that the reality is that we are not going to get the information we need form these terrorists by asking nicely . Do people really think that these people will be forthcoming and truthful with us if we aren't a little "rough" when questioning them? If so, whoever they are let them go over to these terrorist organizations and let them ask "nicely" about terrorist intentions and see what kind of response they get through their "civil" questioning.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:21 pm |
  73. Tom

    I ave discussed this issue with my family and we all have agreed that as Americans we have to be above those kinds of techniques, for any reason. We are better people than that. Most American want to believe that.
    But, most American, including myself, would be first in line to operate the water board if one of our family were being held captive by some terroist group.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  74. William D.

    "Enhanced Interrogation?" Is this Orwell's 1984? Call it what it is - Torture. Torture in any form or for any reason is an act of terrorism and is incompatible with democracy and human rights.

    William D.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  75. Dade Sokoloff

    Jack –

    The simple answer is NO! I am 44 years old and grew up the first generation American in my family. We were taught by my legal immigrant parents, (one from Jamaica and the other from Canada), that there were a few things that made America the best country in the world. Among them were the fact that there was a separation of Church and State. There was a legal system that could not arrest people and hold them in secret prisons with no due process or a lawyer. That your right to privacy was absolute and nobody could listen in on your conversations. That to be the greatest nation meant setting an example for our enemies by treating those we capture as we would demand they treat our soldiers who are captured. Oh…wait….nevermind.

    Dade Sokoloff , Miami, FL

    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  76. Steven Avila

    No Jack.
    A moral high ground needs to be adopted in this country so we don't become the very thing we are fighting against. How do we ever expect for it to disappear around the world if we promote it here at home?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  77. Jennifer

    Jack. Mr. Kiriakou also said in that interview that he tested the water boarding for himself and that he only last 5 seconds! When asked how the water boarding made him feel, he said that the whole body becomes totally tensed and that you feel as though you are going to die. I assume that is because you're strapped flat on your back on a board ... your body is head down, your mouth is taped shut and water is flooded over your face. Kinda sorta sounds like torture to me. How can that possibly be justified. If you torture someone that you think is a bad guy, doesn't that make you just as bad as he is. Two wrongs don't make a right. The CIA knows that. Why do you think all those tapes were destroyed?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  78. Ron Levesque

    I don't think so, but , I just don't know...I hate to think we are the kind of people who indulge in torture, it really makes my skin crawl...I remember as a kid during WW2 hearing about the attrosities commited by the Japanese on our captured US Soldiers and thinking.."We must be the good guys, My Country would never do those kind of things. People who do those things Just Have to Be the Bad Guys:.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  79. Colin Bell

    You can't beat the bad guys without stooping to their level, regardless of how distasteful it is to do so. I'm not condoning torture, I'm just stating the ugly fact that if you don't resort to your enemies' tactics, you'll never get a leg up on them and you'll lose the fight.
    It's tantamount to trying to take on the school bully with your hands tied behind your back.


    December 11, 2007 at 4:22 pm |
  80. Michael Zocchi

    listen, these people are killing Americans. This is war, and we have to do what ever it takes to stop these killers. We have to stop being so soft,( Liberal )and get the job done once and for all.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm |
  81. aceto de'fabul

    I am thankful for the people that have the nads to do what needs
    to be done so all the rest of us can go on living our comfortable
    little lives. We can all go on thinking we have the answers to
    everything as long there are people willing to take the risks and
    do the job no one will ever thank them for doing.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm |
  82. David


    If we're talking about Alberto Gonzales or Carl Rove, it may be the only way to get to the truth. This administration only takes getting to the truth seriously when it serves their purpose.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm |
  83. Buck Rutledge

    No. And now that waterboarding has been confirmed as a used interrogation technique, Americans must weigh whether our lives are more important than our principles. If so, we should openly acknowledge that our security eclipses all else – law, liberty, reputation and honor – if not, we should hold the politicians who authorized the practice accountable.

    Buck Rutledge
    Knoxville, TN

    December 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm |
  84. Bob Danon

    Yes, absolutely... I believe that water-boarding, torture or whatever is an evil be necessary part of today's covert world. They can pass all the rules or laws they want, but torture will be used by the covert-powers-that-be. They have always operated that way and they always will. It just doesn't need to be talked about. Our enemies and allies alike use these various methods of torture and they always will.

    I refer you to Alan Dershowitz(sp), who after 9/11 indicate that under certain circumstances, torture can be used. I believe the example was: When a plane is in the air, and flying towards a "target", such as the World Trade Center, torture may be used to extract the necessary information.

    In a "perfect world", war and torture are wrong... But it is not a perfect world. Make laws, enforce those laws, but covert methods of information extraction will continue to be used and and with justification I might add- Ref: 9/11. Each case needs to be judged and dealt with on its merit. Wiil lives be saved? Were lives saved?

    My perfect world says damn the torpedos, full speed ahead..., rcd

    December 11, 2007 at 4:23 pm |
  85. Michelle

    Jack, I am so tired of hearing about how this is inhumane. What's inhumane is thousands of people, brutally killed by terroists. I dont really care how they get "the Information" just as long as they get it in time! Those crying about torture, need to remember this, we are safe at night because of these techniques! If you need a reminder of why this is done or needed, just watch some old footage of 9/11!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm |
  86. Jerry

    Jack, lets waterboard the Bush girls just to see what George thinks of it , or better yet, George has some things I want answered that he is avoiding

    December 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm |
  87. Jim Lane


    Water Boarding is Torture. It is illegal. It is not OK.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm |
  88. Todd

    If all interrogation techniques, beyond asking questions for a little while, are considered torture then no. Once you start allowing exceptions then we're going to be in the same place we are now sometime in the future because who will decide when an exception is justifiable? And who needs more congressional investigations that basically end up serving no point. Be realistic, this isn't just a Bush administration issue. I personally believe that we need to act like a modern, civil, society, but I also believe that if we get too soft we'll all end up dead in the end. We can't rely just on our own intelligence agencies, I think that's been proven over our history and not just in the past 7 years. These people want to kill us all for simply not believing that their version of Islamic law should rule the planet. We should do what we need to do to survive, whatever that may be. It's every human's right to protect themselves from extermination if they can.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm |
  89. douglas gengler knoxville arkansas


    we need to do it to bush so we can get the truth on all his lies

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  90. Tom Bulger

    Apparently war crimes aren't going unprosecuted in Peru, and they don't brag about being a role model for humanity, so I think bush and Cheney will both be jailed as war criminals.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  91. Jim

    Sorry- I don't get it. We had planes hijacked and flown into buildings in a major city resulting in massive destruction and death. Now we're second guessing ourselves about the methods used to indentify the perpetrators and possibly prevent it from happening again. We want to put forth a tough posture but now we're supposed to have a soft, creamy nougat center? What methods should we have used- harsh language? And all of this whining about us being no better than the terrorists if we employ tough measures: if you actually believe that then we've already lost the battle. This is the real world, people.
    Innocent Daniel Pearl was tortured and beheaded by the terrorists. To accuse our military of using the same tactics is absurd and an insult to our military. The furor over the Gitmo situation a few years ago was embarrassing. Some humiliating pictures were taken of political prisoners with possible terrorist connections- that's it. What- no beheadings? We ARE better than the terrorists, but if we feel guilty about doing whatever it takes to protect our country then why are we wasting so many young and talented people to a war that makes some people squeamish? I'm tired of us getting our ass kicked by these barbarians. They're not going to go away until we kick their asses right back. Hard.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  92. Rob from Okinawa

    Come on people! We're at war and war HAS to be horrible or every country would resolve issues by going to war. If waterboarding saves American lives then yes, it should be used. However, "the people" don't ALWAYS have the right to know EVERYTHING!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  93. Francois

    Yes. We're in the midst of World War 3 vs. al qaeda and the followers of Bin Laden. we need to save American lives. The fact that we have NOT suffered another terrorist attack since 9-11-2001 is not an accident.........let's get the information that we need from them.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  94. John R


    If the information revealed during this interrogation resulted in lives saved – then it would great if you ask the loved ones of those theoretically saved what it's like to have them around this holiday season. To be honest, I don't want to know what our intelligence community is using to help lives, as long as does.

    Since our law enforcement community uses tasers legally to bring down criminals (painful I'm sure) then keep using tasers on the terrorists until they talk – who needs water.

    San Francisco

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  95. HENRY

    Sorry Jack,
    The question is invalid. In order to determine wether a form of punishment applies, you have to clear the status of the prisioner.
    An enemy combatant is not covered under the geneva convention and actually the presedent is as in world war II if you are cought by the oposion force not wearing a uniform. You will be either summarly executed or interrogated until you die.

    Any thing else is purely academic. Those folks in Gitmo could have been buried in the middle east, no questions asked.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  96. Tina

    It is never justified to torture. Having superior morals and values, means just that. The high ground is very hard, but America has always had the qualities of justice and compassion as their beacons to the rest of the world. Those qualities are long gone and so is America standing in the world. I want to be proud to be an American. Thanksand keep up great work.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  97. Fred Teitelbaum

    Water boarding and other forms of torture are only okay if you don't believe in the American way.This is like the Inquisition all over again...why spin it by calling it "Enhanced" Call it what it is, torture. A baggie over your head filled with water.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:25 pm |
  98. JR-S

    Picture your son/daughter being held by the enemy, How would you feel if he/she was being turtured?
    If in the future one of ours is captured and turtured, blame the CIA for setting the standards.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  99. Tom Crangle

    As a former member of the armed forces serving as a military police officer I feel it is a disgrace to use the waterboarding technique when interrogating prisoners and I believe it undermines the Geneva Convention Rules.

    I am sure John McCain would agree. There are certainly much better ways to get information without torture>

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  100. rand bowerman

    Yes. Like it or not there is true evil working against the U.S. and Western Civilization and harsh, coercive interrogation techniques must be used to gain vital, timely information. Waterboarding, in my view, is right on the thin line of "coercion and torture" and must only be employed on direct orders of the President. Bleeding hearts may not like to think about it but this country must do things that may offend their fine sensibilities to survive. The Constitution is not a suicide pact.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  101. fred kazee

    by any means necessary, what do they do when they capture one of our men, they cut off thier head!!!!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  102. Marty

    Sure I do. Since this administration condones waterboarding, why don't we use it to gather intelligence regarding the lies about WMD's and yellowcake uranium, the outing of a CIA operative, the supposed connection between BinLaden and Saddam, illegal wiretapping, and any other deceit or coersion Bush and his cronies have conducted on the American people.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  103. Thom

    It always amazes me that the same people who decry the splashing of water on a terrorist's face for 30 seconds as "torture", are the very same people who easily accept as morally justifiable the daily real torture and murder carried out on thousands of the unborn every day of every week in this country.

    You people would much rather accept a terrorist cell planning and successfully carrying out a car bombing of your own schoolchildren; rather than allow the CIA to extract the needed information to stop such a horrific act,; just so you can say your hands are 'morally clean'.

    Well, they are not. We are at war people. But against whom? Them or our own?
    Waterboarding is NOT torture.
    Abortion, especially late term, however, definitely IS!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  104. Steve

    Never! Toture may allow you to squash one fly or maybe even a few of them. In the mean time it floods the swamp of hatred towards America that allows swams of flies will breed and multiply, keeping Halliburton and Blackwater in business for generations

    Ottawa, Ontario

    December 11, 2007 at 4:26 pm |
  105. John Darby

    Don't we have any pride?
    Who was the American pilot who was a prisoner of war in Korea? They wanted him to admit to criminal acts in order to be repatriated. His statement was some thing like " I will return with my honor or I will not return at all".
    Do we as a nation no longer have any honor? Are we as baseless as our enemy?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:27 pm |
  106. u.b.soehle

    breaking down after only 30 seconds or any time is not turture. go to the experts in the middleages and find out what can be classified as torture.
    water boarding puts the fear of drowning in you, while not painful or pleasent, its obviously effective in saving lives and thats more important than taking the terrorists fear of drowning under consideration.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:27 pm |
  107. Gary

    OK all do gooders, pay attention. The Terrorists have kidnapped your family, and they're going to kill them tomorrow. You have captured the ringleader. What are you going to do? Say please Mr Terrorist tell me where my family is ? GIVE ME A BREAK

    December 11, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  108. Mike


    To answer this question, let’s just look at the greater good. Torturing one person, can save thousands. How would we look at the CIA if they told us they could've prevented the next terrorist attack, they just decided not to torture the suspected terrorist? We would be outraged! Are you telling me that if we could've prevented 9-11, we would have not tortured the animals that flew those planes? Of course we would have! Perhaps we should look at the quote on the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Washington D.C., "Freedom is not free."

    December 11, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  109. Darius

    Jack the issue is one of morality and what is good for the goose. When we start as policy to torture combatants then how do we justify when our caputured soldiers are tortured themselves. Its seems hypocritical that we would be outraged when other countries are doing what we are doing. But I guess there is always a group of Americans out there that always feel that when we torture its different. Just like the atrocites at Abu Garib. We like to hold others to standards but I guess it dosen't apply to us. This is a major problem we have with the world We obviously do not feel that the rest of the world are our equals. and you wonder why americans are not liked. duh.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  110. Iman

    it is very simple. the major difference between a modern civilized nation and a brutal dictatorship has always been, if you torture or do not toture the people held by the governmet. and what are principals worth if you don't stick to them when things are tough. it's easy to be in a good mood on a sunny day.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:28 pm |
  111. Ike

    Absolutely Yes, Jack as soon as we capture Osama, the first thing we should do is to water board him. Some of us actually believe that when you capture harden criminals like terrorist, You talk to them after feeding them with cookies and glass of worm milk, then you have a wonderful discussion and they will tell you everything you need to know. It does not work that way my friends. I am sorry but sometimes you need extreme measures.

    District Heights MD

    December 11, 2007 at 4:29 pm |
  112. Jane

    How can we expect the government to protect us if we don't let them do anything to these people. They know all they are going to get is a slap on the hand if they get caught. We crucify our governmet for September 11th's but then try to take away their ability to prevent further attacks. How else are we supposed to get information out of these animals who don't care who they kill. How will you feel when it's your mother who is killed next time?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:30 pm |
  113. paul

    How is it that this agent is still walking around, not arrested, after disclosing top government secrets? Is this Bush deflecting, justifying torture when they are about to be caught via the destroyed tapes .

    December 11, 2007 at 4:30 pm |
  114. Jacki Waller

    Waterboarding is torture. Americans are above that right? But then we have Bush and Chaney running the government. This administration seems bent on doing anything and everything for our own good. My dad use to say anytime someone says they are doing stuff for your good–it isn't about your good. Its about their good.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:30 pm |
  115. James

    Maybe if we waterboarded President Bush and Tricky Dick we'd get some answers from those guys about the criminal activity that the President and Vice President have held secret as well as what has become public. Maybe an eye for an eye would be appropriate in this circumstance. Otherwise it's NEVER justified! No average american regardless of political affiliation would want that happen to our troops because it is wrong. Torture has always been WRONG! Get back to Geneva and get it RIGHT!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm |
  116. Eddie G.

    For me, the issue is much more difficult than it apparently is for those whose comments precede mine. I find myself of a like mind with Kiriakou.

    One problem, and result, that I see in the generally shallow reportage on the issue of torture, is an apparent disconnect between those who protest against "aggressive interrogation techniques" for the highest value terrorist suspects, but who would have no problem with the concept of a real-life analog of Andy Sipowicz on NYPD Blue "tuning-up" a suspect . Pardon me, folks, but Andy's "tune-ups" constitute "torture" under federal and international law.

    I am a died in the wool, original Bush-hater, so don't write me off as his apologist, which I certainly am not. I'm a pragmatist. I'm human. Life is gray, not stark black and white.

    With the luxury of hindsight and the absence of an immediate threat, I would reject waterboarding. But, to tell the truth, if lives were at stake, I would do almost anything to get essential information from an acknowledged Qaeda terrorist.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm |
  117. Rob

    I spent 20yrs. 4mos. 11days in the U.S. Air Force. Retired Nov 1976. HELL NO!!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm |
  118. Mark

    Jack, "waterboarding" worked for Tomas de Torqemada in the late 1400's. Although, there is still SOME question as to whether torture can result in false confessions. But who cares! We've been moving backward since Bush/Cheney established their monarchy/dictatorship. So, now we're in the 15th century (and likely to move further back - perhaps irrevocably - before January of 2009). What Mel Brooks said about Torqemada also applies to Bush/Cheny et al.: "You can't Talk Him Outta anything" [rational or humaine].

    December 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm |
  119. Rick

    Absolutely!!! America is one of maybe three counties who follow Geneva conventions, which DO NOT apply to terrorists/insurgents, and we pay for it dearly applying it to those persons. When dealing with someone who needs a little extra attention then anything that is available, use it to make your mission successful. The main problem we as Americans have is that we look into things in such a way that everyone/thing has rights and should be treated as such, NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE OR WHAT YOUR BELIEVE as long as your rights are not violated. This line of thinking will lead to the implosion of our country and the death of this country. We have news agencies prying their way into things they have absolutely no business dealing with and the result is everyone knowing everything about the opinion of that particular agency and that become fact. Example: The US detains an insurgent/terrorist and puts them in jail, news agencies cover their treatment and suddenly that person is innocent and should be released. However, that same persons gets their hands on an American soldier, they are put on the internet and beheaded, what is wrong with this crazy country? My point? We need to do what ever we can to preserve our society and way of life!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:31 pm |
  120. Jake Smith

    Absolutely, these people are trying to kill innocent Americans. How could you limit the ways that you can protect the American people. The "tourture" of one terrorist has most likely saved thousands of Americans.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm |
  121. Fred Reynolds

    All too often, Jack, these type questions are one sided. Are WE justified in torturing other people? My question is how would the US Military, the US Congress, or U.S. citizens feel about American soldiers or other non-combatant Americans who have never been charged with a crime with no possibility of seeing even a mock courtroom being similarly tortured?

    Forget the moral issues. Is there no one in the military (and ,of course, there is no one in the White House) who can see the horrific backlash when it becomes more and more common for American captured personnel being treated with methods we both covertly and legally condone?

    Why not ask this question: Is it ever justifiable for an enemy to save its own people by waterboarding, electrically shocking or finger-nail pulling out of Americans?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm |
  122. R. Chappelear

    Only to save your country or people you care about.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm |
  123. Mary D. McKinnon

    If we want to continue to think of ourselves as an honorable nation, the answer is NO. You can make people say anything under duress, truth or lies, just to make the pain stop. I'm sure Al Qaida is training their recruits how to fabricate believable lies, and I hope our military is doing the same. Never forget Galileo and the Inquisition - "... but still it turns."

    December 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm |
  124. Anthony

    Here’s my question to you: Are there any circumstances under which waterboarding or enhanced interrogation techniques are justified?

    Absolutely Jack. While I understand the moral high ground is never a bad choice, by not doing this, you're potentially putting many more innocent people at risk. Lets not get away from what waterboarding is in this case: It's a way to get information from those that plan on doing us harm and prevent future attacks. I fail to see the problem with that. Why should the safety of innocent lives be potentially compromised?

    I respect the beliefs of John Kiriakou and John McCain about waterboarding but unfortunately, under these circumstances, I fail to agree with them.

    Vancouver, BC, Canada

    December 11, 2007 at 4:32 pm |
  125. Steve R

    Are you kidding me? Think of it this way, if your mother or your child was going to be killed by terrorist "activity" but you could stop it by getting information from a captured terrorist wouldn't you allow waterboarding? Yes, it has been proven that torture may bring out any answer to make the torture stop but don't forget many CIA "inhanced" tecniques have also been proven to work effectively. My question is, how many people have died during waterboarding? I would bet far less than died on 9-11.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:34 pm |
  126. Jim Collins

    Jack, give me a break, what the heck is enhanced interrogation techniques. What gives won't the CNN brass let you call torture torture? So the answer to your question is no, torture is never acceptable. It is curious that this guy all of a sudden shows up with a story it was really only 35 seconds and many lives were saved. Well what lives were save? Even by his own admission, any plots that may or may not have been uncovered were not on the US mainland. Also, what type of enhanced interrogation techniques were applied before water boarding? I guess we'll never know that, but again his own statements clearly indicated that extremely harsh techniques were used.

    The first test for torture should be would we accept the same thing being done to our soldiers and citizens. Before the Bush Administration, the answer would have been a definite no. But if these enhanced interrogation techniques are not torture, then it would be legitimate for our enemies to treat our soldiers likewise.

    The news media continue to fails the country with its parroting of political disinformation as either the truth or an acceptable version of the truth. So torture is now enhanced interrogation technique and unlike torture which is clearly illegal, enhanced interrogation techniques are legal and just fine.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:35 pm |
  127. Ben Mirman

    So! If we can 'justify' waterboarding and fingernail extraction and toenail extraction to try and break up Al Quaeda, what's next? Justifying Abu Ghraib? Putting criminal suspects on the rack to get confessions? It would save a lot of jury time too!!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:37 pm |
  128. Denny

    If waterboarding is so good at getting to the truth, lets waterboard some of these pro-war Republicans just after they make their comments on how great the war is going. Better yet....waterboard every candidate for president every time they make a speach....That would be really keeping them honest.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:39 pm |
  129. Teresa

    We're not BEHEADING people!!

    Obviously, negotiating with terrorists who have ritualistically beheaded Americans isn't an effective interrogation technique. Anybody who thinks chit chat and negotiation will get intelligence out of a hardened terrorist such as Abu Zabaydah is plain naive and stupid. Let's just line up our military in front of Al Qaeda like the British used to fight wars. This is a new war and a new enemy, terrorists. What if your spouse or child were ruthlessly murdered or beheaded by terrorists? Would you say "too bad hardened terrorists don't feel obligated to tell all over a nice cup of tea?"

    December 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm |
  130. Bj

    When you are threatening the world with WWIII, when you lied and still lying about Iraq war and its progress, when present USA government is deeply committed in wars, when you call yourself a “war president” and when again you call the Iranian nuclear energy a “threat to the world peace,” the present torture methods conducted by the USA is just a start, in comparison to what is planed and coming the Iranians whom live in America or for that matter the Americans people way, when WWIII or for that matter Iran war starts, these torture methods are just a walk on a safe side in a New York park. Now questioning the matter, if is legal or not, is a second hand used and abused fraise of the day. Bj. Los Angeles.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:40 pm |
  131. John Lenhart

    Only to get one true statement in eight years out of George W. Bush before his term as president expires.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:41 pm |
  132. Bob Hobe Sound

    I can only think of one instance where waterboarding should be used. On bush when he is dragged before Congress for impeachment. In seven years, he has not told the truth. If this administration believes that waterboarding gets to the truth, then we need to use it to get to the truth from bush. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:42 pm |
  133. Mark T. in NJ

    Jack, it worked for Tomas de Torquemada in the late 1400's, so why not now? Let's forget about the fact that torture USUALLY leads to false confessions! Let's just march backwards with Bush, Cheney et al in the lead (or is it the tail?). The common denominator between our current monarchs/dictators and Torquemada was well summed up by Mel Brooks: "You can't TALK HIM OUTTA anything".

    December 11, 2007 at 4:45 pm |
  134. Jason DeWalt

    I personally don't see a reason why it would be wrong. The guy being waterboarded "THINKS" and "FEELS" like he is drowning when whaterboarding is performed. That's a good thing if you're trying to get a terorist to talk that won't talk otherwise if you ask me. He's not actually drowning, or dying, he feels like he is. We're talking about getting a terrorist to talk! I mean come on! Why are people even arguing over this? It's not like we're shoving metal spikes in peoples faces or shooting them in their legs. We're making people "feel" something and then walk away unharmed afterward, unless people are going to get upset about emotional damage that the guy might have after that...once again...we are talking about a terrorist that is ploting to kill lots of people and you're going to worry about him walking away emotionally or psycholgically damaged? I really don't believe that if you went through an experience where you felt like you were going to drown, that you would actually become "handicapped" or, in my own terms, screwed up for the rest of your life. Also, we're not doing this for fun. If the guy would just talk, he wouldn't have to undergo it. I say waterboarding is perfectly fine when you're trying to save thousands of people from dying. It sounds a lot better than many other methods that could be used.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:45 pm |
  135. Annie


    Absolutely not!!! We're supposed to be better than that but apparently not so much lately.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:45 pm |
  136. Rich, McKinney Texas

    How many people do I have to Water board before I get to the one that knows something of worth? I mean if I am the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) and I already know which person has the Information then I probable already know what he/she knows so what the hell is the point of doing the Chinese Water torture on them? Or are we saying that we Water board all prisoners until someone tells us what we want to hear? You stick my head undr water so I think I am drowning I will tell you anything you want to know. Now if that Information is truthful or not is a whole other can of worms. Maybe that’s how WMD'S in Iraq was decided? Ya Think?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm |
  137. MW

    We should have a panel of Senators and House Representatives approve which techniques are appropriate. And the only way they can actually judge the measure or 'acceptability' of those techniques is by going through them themselves for the same length of time as the prisoners. Then we would have a "true", educated decision on the matter. My guess? The answer is 'no' if we do that.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm |
  138. Frank

    NO NEVER!!!!! Can you believe Americans debating whether to torture. I cannot.
    Bush says "we don't torture" but does not say what torture is. what ever they do
    that is not torture to him. they[and i say they not we,because i would never part of it.]. An absolute discrace.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm |
  139. rolandson

    It's easy to take the moral high ground from my living room...at first glance I am adamant, under no circumstances...

    But then I start to think, what if I were talking about protecting or saving the life of my son or daughter? I would not hesitate to use any means at my disposal.

    Our political masters tell us that it is not effective, but seem to do it anyway. How did they discover that it is an ineffective interrogation technique in the first place? There are those who would say that doing so opens the door for like retaliation, but it appears as though that door has been open for some time.

    I want very much that it not be so, however the people against whom such a technique is currently employed have no problem slowly removing a captive head on camera.

    It's an academic question, good for talk shows and columnists...the reality is simple...I don't want to know about it.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:46 pm |
  140. Mike in Hanover, Md

    We tortured this animal for 35 seconds then he gave us information that saved lives. Turture ALL OF THEM!!!
    Maybe it will prevent another 9-11. The real question should be are there any circumstances where using these techniques against people that want us all Americians killed are NOT justified?

    December 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm |
  141. Tom

    What's wrong with waterboarding of POW's? We are trying to kill the enemy. Why have rules? Does our enemy have rules to follow? It doesn't make sense to me.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm |
  142. Lynn CHalfant

    I believe not. There may be some legitmatcy to say "some" lives "may" have been saved but I con not believe the damage this "may" have done to the image of our country in our young peoples minds. I am a Vietnam era veteran who enlisted, yes there was a draft then, because i believe in the virtues of our country that had been instilled in me since birth. You know, all the John Wayne movies, etc. We did not resort to "sign zee papers old man" techniques. We were and I belive still should be far better than that.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:50 pm |
  143. gary saari

    yes, but using these techniques on a person that doesn't have the right answers just creates more terrorists who want to kill we infidels and makes our allies hate our government's arrogant attitude. I think it should be used on the people in our administration to find out what they actually knew before we got involved in Iraq, where the missing emails went and who wwas responsible and knew about that debacle. The most recent question is who knew and why the CIA destroyed the video tapes of the acual tortures. The CIA torture techniques might save a few lives in the short run, but in the long run torture only creates more enemies who are willing to kill even more people who they consider their enemies. A good question would be, "How many people were tortured by the CIA that were not involved or had no knowledge of any so called enemy activities?" Violence creates more violence. Human emotions and frailties are within all of us. That's why I'm still leaning towards waterboarding the "Chicken Hawks" of this administration who insist that they have all the answers to our country's problems because they only "answer to a higher power." On second thought torture should be off the table period. Bring on the impeachment process.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:50 pm |
  144. Chris

    The shining city upon a hill is now dirty with the horror of torture. Her beacon light no longer guides freedom loving people, but serves as a notice that a wicked place lies ahead. America, at least the one I knew, is now dead.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:51 pm |
  145. David

    Given the simpering and political bent to the responses here I think the people primarily represented on this blog deserve to live in a world where we have no means of defending their people. We certainly should never torture, never send soldiers anywhere, never do anything that would cause our image in the world's eyes to dim. Nothing is worth that!

    Why defend a people who don't care about the future of either themselves or their children. Why defend a people who will fight for people who are here to kill us? Why defend the illogical, angry and unsatisfiable?

    I contend there is no good reason to. We should give terrorists a home, 3 square meals a day, (all funded by taxpayers) and a video on how to combat global warming. Maybe they'll take up this new cause with fervor and conviction. Only if they pollute or exhale too much carbon then and only then should we torture them. (oh, but the carbon released by their bombs and the burning wreckage and bodies little children afterward that's not really pollution because it's for a cause, it's for freedom so it's ok)

    What kind of insane country is this? We deserve the consequences that the people on this board are begging for.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:52 pm |
  146. Rhonda

    No. The end never justifies the means. When we stoop to the level of the terrorists, we never regain the moral high ground. We simply become exactly what we are fighting against. If you don't believe that waterboarding is torture, just ask John McCain. If you believe that waterboarding extracts truthful intelligence, guess again. All you get is an answer - any answer - to make the torture stop. We are the United States of America. We have a constitution unlike any other country in the world. It is incumbent upon every American to uphold the highest ideals of that Constitution.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:55 pm |
  147. Rick

    Fred Reynolds December 11th, 2007 4:32 pm ET

    All too often, Jack, these type questions are one sided. Are WE justified in torturing other people? My question is how would the US Military, the US Congress, or U.S. citizens feel about American soldiers or other non-combatant Americans who have never been charged with a crime with no possibility of seeing even a mock courtroom being similarly tortured?

    Forget the moral issues. Is there no one in the military (and ,of course, there is no one in the White House) who can see the horrific backlash when it becomes more and more common for American captured personnel being treated with methods we both covertly and legally condone?

    Why not ask this question: Is it ever justifiable for an enemy to save its own people by waterboarding, electrically shocking or finger-nail pulling out of Americans?

    What is your point? These people do capture Americans and they post the beheading of that person on the internet, then OUR news agencies play it over and over and over. Where have you been? The reason the US was attacked is because we are who we are!! There is no moral questions to be asked here, as far as Islam is concerned, there is the Qu'ran or Koran which teaches hatred and death of those who do not follow it. The only question is will America's citizens submit or resist? SELF PRESERVATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Russia has it right, stay out of our business and we shall run our country in our interest. Wake up complacent America.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:56 pm |
  148. Dennis

    Don't kid yourself Jack, if your child"s life was on the line, YOU and all the
    rest of Americas indignant citizens would do whatever neccesary to get the information needed to save their lives ! (Probably a lot more than waterboarding)

    Ask Bill Clinton what he thought about interogation techniques when he was
    responsible for this country"s safety, If he tells the truth it will be that its been standard operating procedure for decades.

    And again don't kid yourself IT DOES WORK, or OR WHY DO ITt?

    This issue is a shameless politically motivated attack. and its lodged against those we've asked to protect our loved ones FROM TERRORISTS. !!!!!!

    December 11, 2007 at 4:56 pm |
  149. steve mercer

    Justification is not the issue. The real question is one of authority. And under both American and international law, there is none, under any circumstances, for torture. It's illegal, plain and simple. Anyone, anywhere. Never mind what the excuses contrived by a president or his appointees, whether in good faith or bad, or the purported requirements of national security, it was never their choice to make. Not least, because the horrific cost of the inevitable 'mistakes' is not a risk we should be willing to accept. Quite simply, we do not have a government that is empowered ever to engage in that kind of barbarism and brutality. In a word, it's 'unAmerican', and that we have a president who does not truly grasp our most fundamental values is far more dangerous in the long run than any terrorist.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:58 pm |
  150. Gary H



    As you well know, the very fabric of a democratic society is demonstrated not only by the content contained in their hearts, the character that they possess, but how they treat their disadvantaged, less fortunate, as well as their prisoners, enemy combatants, and the ilk.

    While torture or similar "techniques" are characterized as barbaric, objectionable and repugnant to our policy of fair play and substantial justic, it is ABSOLUELY IMPERATIVE to exercise that degree of interrogation, when deemed exigent to preculde massive loss of lives.

    The American people have been stoically patient, somewhat tolerant, but keenly vigilant of the machinations of our intelligence comunity.

    Unfortunately, it is a sad state of affairs to consider that they will not matriculate to the position until their is another incident and finally realize that these types of "techniques" such as and including water boarding, are ABSOLUTELY withing the bounds of deceny to prevent and/or dissrupt the next catrastrophic incident.

    December 11, 2007 at 4:58 pm |
  151. David

    I'll be amused the next time we have a Democratic presidential hopeful try to explain how they'd keep our children safe in the years to come.

    Lawyers and courts will no doubt be the norm.

    I wonder if being scholded by Hillary could replace waterboarding? Have to ask Bill.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:05 pm |
  152. Brian Nancoo

    We absolutely must conduct ourselves at a clearly higher standard than at least our enemies,if not any other country whose people do not enjoy the same freedoms we do.We have always been and will always be able to find a better way to accomplish all our objectives.And we can do so now.By stooping to our enemies' level,we implicitly validate all of their actions.Our enemies in the war against terror have received a lot of support by simply being able to say that the USA is "just as bad" or "doing worse things".This is what Abu Graib and Guantanamo have done.We have to understand and accept that.It's not about whether we're just as bad,of course we're not!But we have attained our leadership position in the world through 231 years of taking the higher road than our foes.We have abandoned that in the Iraq war,we can't win that war unless we do back to what we do best,take the high road.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:13 pm |
  153. Rodger in Las Vegas


    December 11, 2007 at 5:13 pm |
  154. Dave

    If there are circumstances, then, yes, bring it on. If waterboarding is an effective way to saving human lives, then the US should encourage its use by all nations. It will preserve the sanctity of all leaders and political groups in power.

    Our fearless leaders can then truly take the credit they deserve for making the world a safer place.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:14 pm |
  155. Mike Bailey

    Jack, I am not a CIA agent, I was a soldier. I learned in the Army that water boarding is torture. I also learned using drugs to interrogate people is torture, I know because I am one of the 7120 men used in the Army/CIA program at Edgewood Arsenal Maryland from 1955 thru 1975, that President Nixon, Ford and many before them approved of. VP Cheney and Sec of Def Rumsfeld all of them approved of using enlisted soldiers in human experiments 33 years ago, so does their approval of torturing Al Qaeda opperatives surprise me, NO, after abusing your own soldiers whats a few of the enemy>

    Torture is WRONG no matter what the circumstances, and the government is still ignoring the men disabled by the experiments and refusing to help the widows of the deceased veterans, 75% of these men are either dead or disabled, so the program was not safe.

    They did torture then, I am sure in my heart they approved of torture in 2002 and all of them are using national security acts or state secrets to protect their behinds. We are a better nation than this, and after all of the abuse by DOD, the VA and the White House, I still believe in our government, I just don';t like some of the people we put in charge.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:14 pm |
  156. David


    You asked how Americans would feel if our soldiers are tortured in other countries?... They are and they have been for years. From South America to the middle east....

    Didn't you see the video of the mutilated soldiers in Faluja and the beheadings? Didn't you see the soldiers captured by the Iranians?

    Our people were tortured before we got into this conflict and will be long after this conflict is done, why hold ourselves to a standard no one else holds themselves to?

    Why doesn't your favorite NFL team play their rivals with one hand tied behind their back? They would undoubtedly prove they were the better team... some things just are not productive.

    I guess I'm glad you think we can win stealth-war with moral high ground against an enemy with absolutely no moral limitations. I'd like to have your faith but I have a nasty sense of practicality that I just can't shake.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:15 pm |
  157. Rick

    I am done here, I support torture of terrorists/insurgents! Unless you have been to a war zone as a member of the military YOU HAVE NO RIGHT what so ever to comment on what is acceptable. If you have been to war and feel it is not OK then you never lost a few friends, brothers. Arm chair lawyers with opinions without war experience have no right what so ever to comment on what works and what should be authorized. At some point in the future America will fall and everyone sitting in their comfort zones with their born to rights attitude never experiencing what it's like to have you "rights" ripped from you will be the first to complain and ask why? What happened? Why am I in this position? There is something to think about.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:19 pm |
  158. Allen L Wenger

    In response to David (5.05 pm ET); You'd be amused because a Democratic presidencial hopeful would choose to abide by the constitution instead of act like a terrorist? This has nothing to do with keeping children safe, it is about dignity and morality. If you use the tools of a terrorist, aren't you a terrorist?

    December 11, 2007 at 5:24 pm |
  159. Rodger in Las Vegas

    I wonder if any terrorest have already infiltrated our wide open southern borde, planing thier next attack. We already know they use the drug runners & cartels to "WALK RIGHT IN" because they are the "PRO'S" that are doing it as we speak!
    Anyone who doesn't believe they aren't here already should watch more "CNN"

    December 11, 2007 at 5:28 pm |
  160. Allen L Wenger

    In response to Roger in Las Vegas (5:13 pm ET). Right, we should have started torturing all the Japanese Americans we rounded up into concentration camps. Maybe one or two of them could have told us something useful.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:32 pm |
  161. Rick

    Brian Nancoo,

    Come on. The high road speech? That worked with an enemy who had dignity, our current enemy has none, zero, zip. Our current enemy are cowards with no dignity what so ever who prefer to cower. Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo? That was the result of idiots with a camera, they are idiots because they had no point to their position what so ever other than to make them feel superior for whatever reason. Nothing was gained, no information or targets. By the way, because the rest of the world stepped aside for America to obtain the position we currently hold we are in no way responsible for a higher standard. If someone wants to act like an animal then we should conduct ourselves in such a manner to meet the threat rather than stand by as we are exploited. I, as an American, refuse to forfeit the future of my or others children because of a few ignorant pacifists.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:35 pm |
  162. Rick


    Read that post again, you will notice I used another post then replied below that,m it begins with What is your point. I have been to Iraq, I have seen my friends turned into nothing short of fragments, I support whatever our country must do to preserve itself.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:42 pm |
  163. Elizabeth

    I would support torture if I had a 100% guarantee that the person 1) knew something that could help us 2) had a choice in the matter of hurting Americans 3) was actually guilty of crimes against the US and 4) that the imformation was true and not made up to stop the torture. Until that time I would rather not start going down a slippery slope that in the end makes us criminals to.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:43 pm |
  164. David B.

    For those Americans who now support President Bush and Dick Chaney WRT torture (waterboarding) should any American be abducted then what is good for goose is now good for gander. What has this world come to?

    December 11, 2007 at 5:50 pm |
  165. Jeff

    If someone is caught red-handed trying to harm our country or it's citizens, any degree of torture is acceptable. I'd like to see it applied to Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Rice, Libby & Rove. However, in the case of a "fishing expedition" in which there's just a suspicion, I'd say no.

    December 11, 2007 at 5:53 pm |
  166. ron from denver

    Never Jack, I say never. Unless perhaps they test it on Bush/Cheney and congress first to see if it is strong enought to make them tell the truuth, then maybe.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:08 pm |
  167. John

    There seems to be a major misunderstanding of what a war is on the part of many of the above commenters. War is not a tea party. War is horrible, ugly, and to be avoided as much as possible. When forced into a war, though, the objective is to win. We need to kill, capture or maim as many of the opponents as possible as quickly as possible. War is not pretty. Killing people is apparently OK, but gagging some mad dog of a terrorist with Saran Wrap and water is not OK??? These people want to blow themselves apart to kill us and we are worrying about offending them with a bit of waterboarding? Grow up, people. How can killing them be OK but other techniques not OK? Maybe we should give our soldiers paintball guns instead of real guns, too. Once the terrorist is stained, they have to sit out the rest of the war. Oh what a lovely world it would be then.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:10 pm |
  168. frank

    Should the integeligence community have credible tips that something untoward could happen to the US proper or to our military forces. And that using advanced interigation techniques could gain the needed information to prevent such an event (Pearl Harbor, Twin Towers in NYC, Marine Barricks in Lebon) the we should use any and all means necessary to gain the information and pre-empt that event.
    I am sure that in the arm chair quarterbacking of such and event, the person who stood up and said, we could have had the information but we thought that obtaining that information was harmful to an indivdual would be crucified in the media and public opinon.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:36 pm |
  169. Tony

    I think waterboarding is okay when trying to get information that will save lives. I'm confident every person on the four planes that were hijacked on 9/11 would agree waterboarding is better than the alternative.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:39 pm |
  170. Jake Packer

    You can't know if a person has any real information or even if they will respond to torture until after the fact. I don't believe you can post date morality.

    The Bush Administration is pointing at a single intelligence success to justify the use of torture; but we sure won't hear them say, "Oh and by the way, here are ten more prisoners (sorry, enemy combatants) that we water boarded and got nothing out of..."!

    What the Bush Administration won't crow about, is all the cases where water boarding was used but proved unsuccessful.

    December 11, 2007 at 6:41 pm |
  171. Len, Fort Collins, Colorado

    No, No, No. It is not what America stands for......We must bring back the Constitution of the United States!

    December 11, 2007 at 7:02 pm |
  172. James Lee

    Seems strange. One week the intelligence community backdoors The President on Iran, and the next week, it's mysteriously leaked that the cia destroyed videos about torturing. This all supposedly happened a year ago? It sounds like payback to me.

    December 11, 2007 at 7:21 pm |
  173. Elizabeth

    I am here a second time. I agree war is not pretty but have people not noticed the many 100's on innocent Iraqe people to have died? What did they do? We started this war because of WMD that our President said existed and based on his totoal incompetence many more have died than was necessary. And by the way, it has been PROVEN that Saddam wasn't doing anything. We had no gripe with him. We were supposed to be going after the killers that committed the attrocities on 9/11 but we left that fight to go after a narcisitic (self-loving) nut who talked a lot but never really did anything wrong. Now the country is in shambles (and I could be talking about us or them). Saddam, for all that he did wrong had a an excellent infrastructure and really only seemed to go after the ones that disagreed with him. What happens to us we say dangerous things against our country???? We get wire tapped, lied to, lose our morale standing, repect from other countries and we have accomplished nothing truly positive in the past 7 years.

    December 11, 2007 at 7:42 pm |
  174. Tom

    Jack, after 24 years in the Navy I know waterboarding is torture and torture is never right. The ends never justifies the means when it hurts our moral authority around the World.these guys are programming our kids to fail over there and that is turning your back on our trops.

    December 11, 2007 at 9:29 pm |
  175. Karl

    We used to be a civilized nation. The last seven years has unfortunately changed that completely. The only place it should be allowed is in the Oval Office on that big desk by the windows.

    December 11, 2007 at 9:38 pm |
  176. Darrel

    WE are at WAR with terriost that have no out of bounds. Bar None: So we now have captured one. He has information that Would save just one of My sons or daughters. However we get info out of him is just fine with me/ if it is my Family members life that hangs in the balance.
    And when push comes to shove and it's anybody elses brother or sister, you won't hear (oh my it's torture) and No/NO we can't do this to save My Brother? Think About It!!! Fight Fire With Fire Works Well!!!! Always has/ Always will.

    December 11, 2007 at 10:29 pm |
  177. William Wagner

    I would use it. Never say never.

    Have we forgotten 911 already???

    If , I were Pres, I would certainly authorize waterboarding to stop another 911 or nuclear dirty bomb strike. In fact, to stop another 911 carnage, I would even authorize much worse..... Never say never!!.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:11 am |
  178. Strykr

    I do support the use of waterboarding. Let's not kid ourselves into thinking we're fighting a "standing" army which the Geneva Convention was intended for. We're fighting a group of people who don't think twice about killing themselves and any other "infidel" (i.e. woman and children) they can take with them. To the terrorists we capture who helped plan 9/11 or killed other innocent civillians if waterboarding is the worst they get... OOOHHH WELL. Until the American people pull their collective heads out of the sand and realize that we will have to get down and dirty to fight these people, it's a war that is already lost.

    December 12, 2007 at 4:28 am |
  179. Ron Ballard

    On the water-boarding, and torture issue it looks like many Americans need a reality check into the fact that our government has engaged in such activities for sometime. Most Americans blindly buy into the "Good Guy Image" that our government propaganda likes to portray the American image as, while in reality the rest of the World community knows the truth! We, as Americans have allowed our government leadership to portray one image publicly, while out of sight, out of the American public's eye they're actions project the opposite image. It is that double image that has brought America and Americans into the crosshairs of being a target today. However, lets not forget that we are talking about terrorists here. Terrorists are not from any country that has officially declared war on the United States and therefore do not follow the rules of the Geneva Convention, nor should they be given the protection of it. In the real world, even when America engaged in declared wars, including WWII, American prisoners have been repeatedly tortured by our enemies. In truth, many times we gave tit for tat! The rest of the World community knows we've done it, and there is no sense in lying about it even if we don't use it to the extent that our enemies have. Let's drop the phony "Good Guy Image" and be honest for once. Certain types of torture that doesn't do any physical harm, and only has a short term psychological effect may be necessary to be used in order to gather or varify information to prevent large losses of life that otherwise could not be prevented. Unfortunately, that is the reality of living in the real world today.... We, as Americans needed to face the facts and stop lying about it to ourselves and the the rest of the World and simply say that America will do whatever is necessary to protect the United States, its freedom, and the safety of the World community to live without fear from terrorist type attacks!

    December 12, 2007 at 6:10 am |
  180. Mindy Nancarrow

    Why do we always think we have a corner on truth and justice? If another country were asking this question, if Americans were being submitted to waterboarding, all of us would answer positively this is torture and it cannot be tolerated. We need to start living by the standards we apply to other people in other countries. No wonder the rest of the world has a negative opinion of the US.

    December 12, 2007 at 6:18 am |
  181. Ron Holliday

    America should stand tall and above the tactics of the evil. If waterboarding or other torture is acceptable "to protect us" then of course it is not a too distant a step to accept the mild intrusion of the government into our privacy rights "only to protect us." The Bush administration is a disgrace. Democrats are not much better–I'm ready to vote for almost ANYONE other than a republican–just having trouble deciding which one of the candidates is the least repulsive.

    December 12, 2007 at 6:23 am |
  182. Dave F

    Is it OK to take a pencil from work? Yes, then what about a wrench? If its Ok to take the pencil then it might be OK to take a wrench. Ok, so is it OK to take a computer, after all it was OK to take the wrench. And so on, and so on..... Once the practice of torture is accepted then the standard of when it's acceptable keeps getting easier and easier to justify. The problem with governments and secret activities by the government is that the decisions are in the hands of a few zealots, and those zealots aren't going to stop at yesterday's acceptable level. Today they will push the envelope even farther, and tomorrow, methods that were totally unacceptable yesterday are easily justified. Democracy requires vigilance, and there is no room for the acceptance of torture, or spying on the populous or any other totalitarian practice. If a little is allowed today, democracy will be gone tomorrow. We are on a slippery slope, and we need to get back up on the high ground.

    December 12, 2007 at 7:40 am |
  183. John

    ABSOLUTELY!!! I've been reading alot of these posts & I truely believe that many people are living in the land of make believe. Sure, I would love to live in a world where things such as waterboarding is not needed but the fact is we don't, please wake up people. Do you think if we don't do things such as waterboarding that the enemy will stop their forms of torture? Get real, if it works do it, plain and simple! Did you people forget 9/11? What was done to Mr. Berg? I guess you did, I didn't. And I'm sure if family members or freinds of the people against waterboarding were lost in a terrorist attack those same people would be the first people saying our government should have done whatever it took to protect its citizens. I guess if it didn't happen to you it didn't really happen is the mantra of our people. The fact is this country has become a joke, the vocal, radical super left wing minority is starting run this country and the will of majority is being overlooked by our whimpy government. We used to be the greatest nation in the world, I'm starting to wonder if that the case any longer.

    December 12, 2007 at 8:54 am |
  184. Sam

    No! waterboarding is "torture" and torture is illegal. You go to jail for torturing...just ask Michael Vick. Oh! I forgot, we are talking about "torturing" HUMANS, which must be "legal" since no one has gone to jail for it!

    Sam, Georgia

    December 12, 2007 at 9:25 am |
  185. Brian

    I was waterboarded back in 1974 while in a mock POW camp as part of my Navy flight training in case I ever got shot down over Vietnam. Was it uncomfortalbe – yes! Was it torture – depends on the individual! Bamboo shoots under fingernails is torture, electric shocks on one's privates is torture! Do all those people against waterboarding think the US is the only country to do this? Heck, we do not have to do what our enemies do but we certainly cannot fight them using liberal tactics and strategies and still win.

    Are these the same people who think that spanking Johnny's behind is a no no? Wake up and smell the burning flesh and aviation fuel of 911! And put your kids to work so we can minimize the number of infractions of the seven deadly sins and save this blessed country. Finally, review your historical lessons and realize that (1) governments are neither always fair nor perfect, (2) a country divided is beaten, and (3) freedom and choice are worth fighting for.

    December 12, 2007 at 9:33 am |
  186. Jack

    waterboarding would probably be useful in getting truthfull answers from the White House, most especially from the Vice Presidents office.

    December 12, 2007 at 9:36 am |
  187. B.D.Adams

    Hey Jack,
    Maybe if we could work out a deal with the terrorists where they tell us when they are going to attack. That way we wouldn't have to use waterboarding to get the info we need.

    December 12, 2007 at 10:14 am |
  188. Warren Blanchard


    December 12, 2007 at 10:17 am |
  189. Dr Jeffrey Thompson

    I can't believe that the US is using such antiquated torture methods as simulated drowning and such. There are much more sophisticated "truth serum" drugs that can loosen the tongue of the most recalcitrant combatant prisoner. More and more I feel like I belong to the "Evil Empire" ruled by Darth Vader...

    December 12, 2007 at 10:32 am |
  190. Matt Binkowski

    No waterboarding is not acceptable. If you disagree, just replace a "terrorist" with an American soldier and then do it. Now does it seem like a good idea?

    December 12, 2007 at 10:55 am |
  191. Peter Shaw

    I believe the question should not be whether waterboarding, or any form of torture, can ever be effective; rather how do we wish to define ourselves as a nation and as a people? When we begin to live by those principles that our leaders call just and humane, indeed even Christian, then we will have the authority to ask others to do the same.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:02 am |
  192. cindy

    the 'FORMER'cia agent is a plant for the media! when you join the cia you sign a nondisclosure statement-so how can this guy go on national news and give out information-whether its classified or not. waterboarding is torture, and anyone who says different should be subjected to it and then see how they feel! all torture does is make people say anything you want them to say even lie to stop it.
    cindy from montana

    December 12, 2007 at 11:03 am |
  193. Barb

    I dont no what the answer is but torture is not the answer
    If someone was tortureing me I would say what ever they wanted
    and why blame Bush
    This stuff has been going on for a long long time

    December 12, 2007 at 11:07 am |
  194. Ellie F.

    Yes – the same circumstances where you would start pulling out fingernails. Sheesh – it's either torture or it's not. There's no middle ground here. Let's start acting with a moral conscience for the first time in 7 years!

    December 12, 2007 at 11:27 am |
  195. THEFMAN

    I see no reason why we shouldn't use wateroarding. If less than a minute of total fear of drowning in someone who wants us all dead will get information that will save hundreds if not thousands of lives, do it. And do you think our enemies don't do things to prisoners of war or innocent people that are 1000 times worse you must be blind. The best thing we can do is keep your big mouths shut about waterboarding. Remember people like Daniel Pearl. If we were to make sure we never do anything you would call torture our enemies will think of us as weak and keep torturing prisoners of war and alike no matter what. I'm sure there are very few countries that actually follow the Genva Convention, if any really. And our enemies have no respect for rules or the sanctity of life. Face reality folks. We could do everything they want but they will never stop. Waterboarding is pretty minor inconvenience compared to them.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:28 am |
  196. Darryl

    Now that it is clear that the U.S. utilizes torture (waterboarding) to extract information. It is even more plausible that far more egregious methods are being utilized in renditioning individuals outside the U.S.? The American People should not be outraged or disgusted in the future, when graphic pictures of American service personnel being tortured in some remote region of the world appear on the web

    This will be the true Bush-Cheney legacy.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:31 am |
  197. Helen Kasten

    Enhanced interrogation techniques should be allowed when trying toelicit info from government officials under oath who use evasive answers.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:31 am |
  198. Marty

    Waterboarding is never a good thing. The CIA tapes were probably destroyed since they showed that waterboarding did not provide useful information. Under torture people will say anything just to stop the pain. As a combat veteran I find it disturbing that our country would even consider such an action.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:32 am |
  199. tom marx

    Oh you bet!!!!!When you need to know info from groups that don't play by the rules,I strongly feel the rules go out the window.Let the goody two-shoes cry,it could be their butt thats saved.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:37 am |
  200. Dave


    Lets try it on Bush and his cabinet first to see if it really works. Then continue with the House and Senate using a different member from each party every day until SOMEONE starts telling the truth!


    December 12, 2007 at 11:43 am |
  201. bruce

    Considering the severity the enemy inflicts on our troops and innocent civilians, I

    can condone waterboarding. The punishment seems docile when compared to


    December 12, 2007 at 11:44 am |
  202. Robert Allen

    Yes, there are situations where waterboarding is just fine and definitely justified. It should be mandatory every time Congress passes a bill with any pork in it.

    December 12, 2007 at 11:57 am |
  203. Jack

    If we cannot comply with the Geneva Convention, we cannot expect other countries to do the same. We should be the example for the world of how a country shoudl act. Is there anyone in the US who would think it appropriate that our citizens be subjected to waterboarding?

    December 12, 2007 at 12:02 pm |
  204. Michelle for San Angelo,TX

    I guess we should sit down with these terrorists,and offer them tea and cakes. Maybe they would be our friends and spill their guts to us because they like us.
    I dont know where the human rights issue lines have to be drawn. When we cry fowl at the torture of terror supects. These individuals, if out loose on the streets would bomb innocent people in America as soon as look at them.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:09 pm |
  205. Joe

    Why do these " intelligence" people need to get educations if they are going to just act like cave men. There must be a smarter way to do get information.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:13 pm |
  206. r owen

    Everyone is an "Expert" on this subject, but how many of you out there have ever had this done to you? Having gone through some training that used this technique, and survived, it really isn't that bad on the physical side. It's a mind game, and one that the interogator will win. All these experts in Congress need to leave this to the real experts and let them conduct their business.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:15 pm |
  207. wayne

    Waterboarding is only a reflection of ourselves in the mirror. Waterboarding is wrong but so is killing people. In the end we are human. We should remain beyond repraoch However, our history has shown that we are capable of enslaving millions, erradicating the native american and developing and using a nuclear device and gas bombs that caused massive collateral damage. We as a nation have justified these actions by asserting our causes were just and we were forced to act this way. Waterboarding is wrong. In the wake of 911 it was necessary and it probabaly saved lives (even maybe my children's lives and for that I am selfishly grateful.) We have to look at ourselves as a nation and determine and change the things that caused millions of people to hate us. Nutjobs and alleged prophets will scream from the hills for our extinction and we shoudl deal with them accordingly. The nutjobs would have very few followers if the circumstances in those countries were different. We have to help bring those nations along because we cannot afford to fight them all. We have become their target due to our prospertiy and our arrogance. We need to lose the arrogance, keep our prosperity and help them when we can. Otherwise we are doomed to a fate of a million un-named wars which will take more life and resources than all the world wars combined. Right now the nutjobs are winning the political fight for the hearts and minds of the people in some parts of the world. We need to be the better alternative and then we will not need to waterboard people. (P.S. I know I did not answer the exact question you asked, but people who are interviewed by CNN never do, ha.) MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!!!!

    December 12, 2007 at 12:24 pm |
  208. Jim

    First, I don't think waterboarding is torture. If the person being interrogated were helpless to stop what was happening to him and what was happening caused serious damage to the person being interrogated it would be torture. With waterboarding, the person being interrogated is actually in control can stop the procedure at any time they wish to speak. That’s the point of the whole thing. Further, it does no serious damage to the one being interrogated. Is it pleasant? Heck no, but that doesn't make it torture. I don't think waterboarding should be done routinely, but on high profile individuals it has proven to be a good tool and has allowed us to stop some terrorist operations and save lives. Waterboarding will not be the cause our own troops being tortured because our troops are already being tortured when captured. It will not somehow destroy our American way of life because our American way of life was permanently damaged on 9/11. You don’t go all moony over “fighting by the rules” when the enemy sure isn’t. Now the gloves are off and the only rule is "win".

    December 12, 2007 at 12:30 pm |
  209. kendunn

    Weatherboarding is torture and never acceptable.
    I am especially disappointed that Wolf Blitzer a descendant of Holocaust survivors took time to give a "Professional Torturer" John Kiriakou 10 minutes on the air, this is plain and simply despicable. Such interviews are to be expected to take place on FOX, but CNN!
    Does CNN plan to have "Joseph Mengele" as special adviser to Sanjay Gupta?
    The debate is not about the Geneva Convention, it's about American pride and moral values. It's like the argument; I am against abortion but for the death penalty!

    December 12, 2007 at 12:32 pm |
  210. mike savage

    i would love to waterboard all the major candidates and THEN outlaw it.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:45 pm |
  211. Bill

    Waterboarding is torture and is never justified. Torture is prohibited by the Geneva Convention and international law(and yes, Bush administration, it really, really is). We had Nazis executed by hanging after WWII for using waterboarding, because we, like the rest of the civilized world, considered the practice repugnant in the extreme. I am distressed and deeply shamed that so many of my fellow citizens not only accept the Bush administration's bizarre justifications for "enhanced interrogation techniques" (aka torture to all moral people), but applaud them for it. What happened the the America I once defended in battle? This is not what I put my life on the line to protect.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:51 pm |
  212. Lawrence

    No. It comes down to this: after all of the research into human motivation and psychological analysis, the best our interrogators can come up with is, "Tell us what we want to know or we'll beat you up!" Give me a break! Waterboarding, pulling fingernails out, submersion in ice water, whatever. Are we to believe that the best brains at the FBI and CIA think some version of the rubber hose is the most advanced method of extracting information? If this is the case, let's save a lot of money and hire Mafia goons to run Guantanamo.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:52 pm |
  213. Iqbal Emamudeen

    We cannot stoop to the level of our enemies. it makes us one of them. We are a nation of laws and we used torture as an instrument of policy ,we lost the moral high ground and dimmed the beacon of hope for many who are living in tyranny.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:54 pm |
  214. Al Gordon

    Hi Jack,

    I'd just like to comment on Water Boarding. I
    have never agreed with President Bush on any
    issue as much as this one.

    I Do Not think Water Boarding is Torture. In
    fact I feel we should have the Entire Bush
    administration go through the process.

    Maybe then, "We the People" could get some
    truthful answers. Keep up the Good work.

    December 12, 2007 at 12:57 pm |
  215. ConservativeDem

    It is unbeliveable many good Americans are so naive about the rest of the world and its ideologs. Would we use torture to stop the sneak bombing of Hawaii during World War II? How about preventing the assassination of JFK or Abraham Lincoln? Do we think as a people that everyone holds us in such high esteem that no matter what is done to us that we should take the higher moral ground and suffer the consequences?

    We do more to our citizens than we do to those who are trying to destroy us! We have lost so many rights– such as property rights! We make laws out of sympathy to victims families and lose our rights in the process. News media sensationalize events to make a profit or reporters do it to get national recognition–such as torture. If we fall as a nation because we can not protect its citizens due to sensational reporting, who will the world blame for its unrighteousness?

    How can you say anyone except United States Citizens is protected by the constitution? Only whackos would!! Our forefather did not! YOU CAN NOT TORTURE AN AMERICAN CITIZEN!! Everyone else–depends on OUR security.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:10 pm |
  216. Benjamin

    No. For heavens sake we don't want to make them feel uncomfortable. It's only AlQueida. They're probably nice people. They wouldn't hurt us would they? And if any of them are captured we should give them special quarters and better health care than MILLIONS of Americans have. Including the vetrans of this and previous wars which we keep on our streets by the way. Oh wait we alrerady do that.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:13 pm |
  217. jon thogmartin

    no never

    December 12, 2007 at 1:17 pm |
  218. Del J.

    if it saves American lives yes. On Sept. 12,13, 14 , 2001 we all thought differently and would have wished we could have done a little water boarding ourselves. My how soon we forget. We were all united as a nation for a few weeks. What happened ?

    December 12, 2007 at 1:20 pm |
  219. Jan W

    NO it is never ok. Secret prisons are not either. What has happened to our country ?

    December 12, 2007 at 1:21 pm |
  220. Richard

    Absolutely....when it's "them" or "us", if I were in charge "them" would be tortured every time. Everyone needs to read the reply above by John from Pampa, TX. I'll just add, war, in whatever shape or form, isn't for sissies. That's what has gone wrong in this country....we've turned into a nation of crybaby whiners. Teddy Roosevelt is probably spinning in his grave.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:29 pm |
  221. David F


    For every time John Kirakou says it probably saves lives, I can go on the web and equally find just as many articles saying it doesn't work. This is probably the only logical thing Sen. John McCain has said in the last year that I can agree with. Let's stop dancing around the truth and call it what it is TORTURE..

    If the United States continues on this "neocon" path of using torture, pre-emptive strikes, and domestic spying then I ask you this, what makes the United States better than say Iran? or North Korea or any of the so called "Axis of Evil" countries. It is vital that the United States has the moral example of the world, if we don't then the America of freedom and democracy is gone. Torture? If we stoop to that level then we are no better than the so called terrorist that we are supposedly at war with.

    December 12, 2007 at 1:33 pm |
  222. Elie

    The intelligence service is our first line of defense. Adequate intelligence can prevent disastrous security breaches and save a lot of innocent lives. It is easy to take the high moral grounds for those who are far from harms way. I conscienciously say that it is inhumane to use water boarding, but if I was in a situation where I know that the vermin that I am interrogating has a lot of life saving information I will not refrain from extracting it from him by violent means.

    December 12, 2007 at 2:04 pm |
  223. Mr. Cheeseburger 9000

    if it violates due process and shocks the conscience, then waterboarding should never be done. The way waterboarding is described, it clearly appears to step over the boundary from legitimate interrogation techniques to torture. Would we do this to an American citizen charged or suspected of a crime? It would get thrown out in a court and the police would be subject to a 1983 civil rights claim.

    The related issue to this is how the CIA is classifying its "suspects": American citizen vs. non-american citizen. I think its a distinction without a difference. The government should be treating everyone it interrogates with the same dignity, regardless of citizenship or strange legal classifications that lawyers have stuffed down Pres. Bush's throat.

    December 12, 2007 at 2:54 pm |
  224. Yury

    If we torture, we save lives. It allows us to win battles and prevent attacks.
    If we torture, we sell our souls. We may win the battles, but we will lose the war.

    December 12, 2007 at 4:52 pm |
  225. Glenda

    I wrote a very angry letter when I heard that Strykrs were having to pick up public garbage in Iraq. I've had to deal with my own garbage and mother's for 10 years and I failed to see why a military person of such high training would be told to do garbage detail for able bodied Iraqi's.
    I have read the news from Iraq on a daily basis. I saw the beheadings on tv news, I received letters from GI's over there telling me that they couldn't let the Iraqi soldiers walk behind them while they were training them. So, in light of the way this enemy behaves, water boarding only last a couple of minutes, what they do last forever.

    December 12, 2007 at 6:22 pm |
  226. Robert Maxwell

    It's (barely) conceivable that a situation might arise in which we know we have the right prisoner and we are certain he knows something that, if quickly extracted, would have a high probability of saving many lives. In that case, the use of torture might be justified. If it ever happened, accountability should be firmly established. The person in charge of interrogation should have a hot line to the Secretary of Defense and obtain formal permission to use torture before proceding.

    We should keep in mind that rapid extraction of information from prisoners was the justification for the use of torture by the Gestapo and by the French paratroopers in the Algerian war.

    Germany and France lost their respective wars despite the torture.

    December 12, 2007 at 6:42 pm |
  227. Virginia Denton

    History has proven that a government that tortures "them" will soon be torturing US

    December 12, 2007 at 8:04 pm |
  228. Gary S. MO

    Sure it is alright. These are prisoners of war not citizens of this country they have no rights under our laws. Our citizens get be-headed and people look the other way but when we poor a little water on someone all these attorneys cry foul looking to make a dollar.

    December 13, 2007 at 12:20 am |
  229. Ralph

    Of cource waterboarding is torture.So lets see ,,,If im fighting a country that abides by the geneva convention treats my troops as I would treat another NATIONS then so shall I.However if im fighting a TERRORIST who lobes off heads for sport,has no problem killing civillians,burning and rapeing children?Then And only then, WILL I USE TORTURE.And in FACT I may use it, till THEY no longer exist!!!!

    December 13, 2007 at 9:00 am |
  230. Doug McEntee

    If waterboarding is ok, and is not torture, do you have any objection to the enemy using it on our soldiers?

    December 13, 2007 at 3:05 pm |
  231. Ronnie Raley

    I just finish my third tour in Iraq I been blowed up 7 times in Iraq I have two combat Action badges which you get for being in Combat Action I seen several of
    my buddies killed be EFP coming in from Iran they went right throw their vehicle like nothing and if doing some low level waterboarding would have stop that we need to do that. I did not agree with the War I but now that the Emeny wants to fight
    in Iraq whats the deal we have to fight somewere. It really made me sick to see all the Money that was made and all the Generals that come out of this with high paying jobs then friends of mine and me I had surgery do to IED that injured me I have PTSD Injured ankle and other injuries that was caused by fighting for my Country I understand the fighting but back door money grabing that should of been control by Congress that will not work together. All the Democrates and Cnn
    want to do is blame Rep but why could you not even see that the Rep is in control
    for now so Democrates should try to give in instead made our Country worse by doing nothing to help a bad problem get worse. I would have Respect for some democrates if they stand alone for right but the Democrates in charge now have no guts and no morals I agree that most Rep our crooks but they our some trying to do the right thing I cannot say the same for Democrates their all low morals and
    and no guts. And we do not need Molsems in control of the White House at least fox news trys to do a blance Report CNN not Blanced at all that why everone watches Fox even Democrates.

    December 13, 2007 at 6:32 pm |
  232. Scott

    Torture may sound like a quick solution to find information, but it opens our soldiers in uniform the possibility of suffering the same plight. Anyone who can justify it, should talk with those veterans who have suffered from it. I think they might change their minds.

    December 13, 2007 at 7:47 pm |
  233. Scott

    We as a nation have prosecuted the Nazi’s and the Japanese for War Crimes Acts. Why isn't our President and vice President being prosecuted for the same reasons?

    December 13, 2007 at 7:53 pm |