Negroponte Admits that Waterboarding Was Used By Bush Administration

The National Journal caught an interesting slip from John Negroponte, former director of national intelligence , who uttered The-Torture-Technique-That-Shall-Not-Be-Named”: waterboarding. While Attorney General Mukasey continues to say that he is still thinking about waterboarding months after his seemingly false testimony before Congress, Negroponte admitted in an interview that indeed it was used — but encourages people not to look back at such small things as a torture program.

Negroponte’s statement can in an interview with National Journal:

Q: When we as a nation are still debating the morality and efficacy of “harsh” interrogation techniques that much of the world consider torture, and indefinite detainment that lies outside the rule of international law, can the United States really win the “war of ideas” that President Bush insists is crucial to this conflict?

Negroponte: I get concerned that we’re too retrospective and tend to look in the rearview mirror too often at things that happened four or even six years ago. We’ve taken steps to address the issue of interrogations, for instance, and waterboarding has not been used in years. It wasn’t used when I was director of national intelligence, nor even for a few years before that. We’ve also taken significant steps to improve Guantanamo. People will tell you now that it is a world-class detention facility. But if you want to highlight and accent the negative, you can resurface these issues constantly to keep them alive. I would rather focus on what we need to do going forward.

Too retrospective? It was a rather ironic piece of advice from Negroponte who was opposed in his own position due to his rather shady past in government service. For a prior column, click here

Nevertheless, Negroponte’s comments may make it more difficult for Mukasey. One approach to continue to avoid acknowledging that President Bush ordered the commission of a crime was for Mukasey to pretend that he was not sure if our torture program was “true” waterboarding. That is an increasingly difficult task with Negroponte and one of the chief interrogators admitting that it was waterboarding, click here Even Canada now lists the United States as a country practicing torture, here

Fortunately for the White House, with leading Democrats are continuing to scuttle any serious investigation into torture behind the scenes, we will continue the “forwarding looking” approach that Negroponte advocates.

For the full story, click here

12 thoughts on “Negroponte Admits that Waterboarding Was Used By Bush Administration”

  1. First, what constitutes “a world-class detention facility”?

    Secondly, more Russian PORN?

  2. Susan and Patty C,

    What a horrible fate we avoided: a country with Giulani as President!

    Patty C, I will check out that link you provided.

    Let’s think outside the box, this testimony is making me giddy:

    Lets keep the electoral college but give the United Nations a set number of votes in it that they could cast. That way the nations that are effected by our actions would have some small say in who goes to the Oval Office! With that standard, Bush would never have had a second administration. Yes, I am an unapologetic internationalist!

    Let Barack Obama cross party lines and have Huckabee as his vice president on a “national unity” campaign! If he is serious about ending the partisan gridlock, let him choose someone from the other party as his running mate!

  3. Susan, I heard last night Giuliani is announcing his endorsement of McCain today at the Reagan Library-where tonight’s debate is being held.

    Tom Brokaw got a call from a friend, who has been following the Republican campaigns. ‘She’ said Rudy had a lot of BIG endorsements there to hand over – no big surprise there. And Tim Russert is predicting Huckabee to be he VP pick.

  4. Patty, that was good news for me too! I never liked Guiliani, and am very glad he lost. But is he going to continue in the race despite his loss in FL? I didn’t hear the details on that question.

  5. DW, pick up The Lucifer Effect by Phil Zimbardo formerly of Stanford, if you haven’t yet or listen to his lecture on “The Zimbardo Prison Experiment”.

    As to the white sepulchers reference, I often say “Church is a place for sinners”.

    JT, guess I won’t be moving to Canada to start that kudzu brewery, afterall since Giuliani’s loss last night. Yehhh!

  6. Jonathan (I hope you don’t mind my using your first name, if you do, my apologies), I have to respectfully disagree with the above. I certainly didn’t knowingly vote for any candidate who would be so willing to condone torture. Whether we “deserve” these so-called leaders in the Democratic party is open to question, for me anyway. Deeply Worried, I definitely agree that the attitude of the “religious right” on this issue is hypocritical but again not surprising.

    Maybe Jonathan is right, that we do deserve the government we get, especially when we — both average citizens and those in the media — don’t cross-examine our candidates for Congress, the Senate and of course, the Presidency, at least not nearly enough BEFORE electing them. I’ll have to think that one over a bit more.

  7. “…the terrible ease with which modern Americans turn away from human suffering”

    I think that line was in a book review this week in the Sunday NYT.

    What disturbs me is that the Evangelical Right with its strong solicitude for the dignity of life, doesn’t get up in arms about torture. Isn’t torture preciesly a defilement and desecration of the “temple of the Lord?” Yet a curious silence is all we get from them.

    It makes me think of that biblical phrase, “whitened sepulchers” when contemplating the utter hypocrisy of America’s religious right on this issue.

  8. Susan:

    The problem with a democratic system is that you get the government that you deserve and we deserve these people.

  9. The unwillingness of leading Democrats to look deeply into the issues of torture sadly comes as no surprise to me by now. They have too many constituents that consider torture to be a positive, not a negative, anything to be “safe.” What utter nonsense that is, although the police-state advocates refuse to see it that way. They have no idea that they have done what Benjamin Franklin warned us all against long ago, given up our essential liberties to gain a little temporary “safety.” And in so doing, have gambled away both liberty and safety, for ALL citizens, which is a terrible tragedy for this nation.

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