Meet The Press: Michael Steele Thinks We Should Investigate Torture...But Don't Ask Him If Torture Is Appropriate

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(h/t Heather)

RNC Chairman Michael Steele predictably monopolizes all of David Gregory's questioning of the issue of torture, successfully distracting and obfuscating with his insinuations of how Republicans welcome investigations on torture now that the "REAL" issue of when and whether Nancy Pelosi knew about the techniques.

MR. GREGORY: Should there be a wider--should there be a truth commission? Should there be an investigation?

MR. STEELE: I think, I think you've heard a lot of Republicans call for that. And if this is, if this is a door that the Democrats and, and their leadership, since they have the House and the Senate and the presidency and they want to expose all of this...

GOV. KAINE: Mm-hmm.

MR. STEELE: ...then let's put it all on the table and let's take a closer look at it.

[..]The point is that you have the Speaker of the House who said that she, she wasn't told, she didn't have a clue. And, in, in fact, the evidence contradicts that.

Of course, when Gregory asks whether Steele himself thinks that torture was committed, Steele turns suddenly coy and tongue-tied. And surprise, surprise, Gregory lets him get away with it.

MR. GREGORY: Do you, do you think it was torture?

MR. STEELE: Well, my, my opinion on it doesn't matter. My personal opinion is look, I want the information.

MR. GREGORY: Yeah.

MR. STEELE: We'll get it however we can get it.

MR. GREGORY: But you do, you have an opinion?

MR. STEELE: I have a personal opinion, yes.

MR. GREGORY: Do you think it was torture?

MR. STEELE: That's my--I'm not, that's not appropriate here.

What crap. So he can spew verbal diarrhea in the form of opinions on the ethics of whether Nancy Pelosi was fully informed (and lie about the evidence) and there his opinion is not only appropriate but given freely, but as to the central question of whether torture has been committed (truly, not even a question, ask the Red Cross and the OLC), then he's shy?

And curses to any and all of the Democratic Party insiders who thought that the best way for Tim Kaine to serve his party was as the Chairman of the DNC. What a pathetically milquetoast weasel. Here we sit, with perfect potential for moral high ground, the likes of which hasn't been seen since WWII, and what we get is this weak tea, sitting-on-his-hands shadow of a Democrat simpering that isn't a good thing we all agree that we don't do torture? Dagnabit, Democrats. How hard is it to even getting half-way decent talking head? Way to represent, Kaine.

Transcripts below the fold

MR. GREGORY: Should there be a wider--should there be a truth commission? Should there be an investigation?

MR. STEELE: I think, I think you've heard a lot of Republicans call for that. And if this is, if this is a door that the Democrats and, and their leadership, since they have the House and the Senate and the presidency and they want to expose all of this...

GOV. KAINE: Mm-hmm.

MR. STEELE: ...then let's put it all on the table and let's take a closer look at it.

GOV. KAINE: Michael, can't, can't we agree, sitting right here, it's a great thing that this nation has stated that we're not going to use torture as an instrument of foreign policy? Can't we agree on that?

MR. STEELE: I, I, I think that, I think that's perfectly fine. But that's not the point. The point is that you have the Speaker of the House who said that she, she wasn't told, she didn't have a clue. And, in, in fact, the evidence contradicts that.

GOV. KAINE: But, but I'm glad we have agreed now that turning the page and stating that torture is an instrument of foreign policy is a good thing.

MR. STEELE: You can, you can turn...

MR. GREGORY: Well, do you...

MR. STEELE: Well, you can turn the page all you want to that. That fact is still sitting there...

MR. GREGORY: Do you believe...

MR. STEELE: ...that your party's going to have to address.

MR. GREGORY: Do you believe interrogators under the Bush administration's watch engaged in torture?

MR. STEELE: I think what, what was engaged in at that time was what the, the intelligence community, what the administration, the Department of Defense, the secretary of state all agreed were forms of getting information that were at that time...

MR. GREGORY: Right.

MR. STEELE: ...you know, deemed appropriate. Now, if since that time if there's, if there's another opinion that's been formed by this administration or others, then that's the direction of the course.

MR. GREGORY: Do you, do you think it was torture?

MR. STEELE: Well, my, my opinion on it doesn't matter. My personal opinion is look, I want the information.

MR. GREGORY: Yeah.

MR. STEELE: We'll get it however we can get it.

MR. GREGORY: But you do, you have an opinion?

MR. STEELE: I have a personal opinion, yes.

MR. GREGORY: Do you think it was torture?

MR. STEELE: That's my--I'm not, that's not appropriate here.

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