The controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding has served a "valuable" purpose and does not constitute torture, former Attorney General John Ashcroft told a House committee Thursday.
"I believe a report of waterboarding would be serious, but I do not believe it would define torture," Ashcroft said, responding to questions from Rep. Maxine Waters, D-California.
He added, "the Department of Justice has on a consistent basis over the last half-dozen years or so, over and over again in its evaluations, come to the conclusion that under the law in existence during my time as attorney general, waterboarding did not constitute torture."
Waters asked Ashcroft whether such techniques would be regarded as "totally unacceptable and even criminal" if they were used on American soldiers. "Well, my subscription to these memos, and my belief that the law provides the basis for these memos persisted even in the presence of my son serving two tours of duty overseas in the Gulf area as a member of our armed forces," Ashcroft said...
How could any person associated with the religious right endorse torture in any form? It's unbelievable. These phony religious zealots always seem to put their principles down whenever it suits them. And he's had other very serious infractions that would seem to come in conflict with his convenient beliefs. Remember the sweetheart contracts that former Attorney General John Ashcroft got from DOJ after he stepped down after President Bush’s first term?
Water boarding was designated as illegal by U.S. generals in Vietnam 40 years ago. A photograph that appeared in The Washington Post of a U.S. soldier involved in water boarding a North Vietnamese prisoner in 1968 led to that soldier's severe punishment...read on