From the Department of "Not Making This Up":
Representative Brian Nieves, who as Missouri GOP Majority Whip is the #5 Republican in the state's House of Representatives, in the first clip refers to waterboarding as "a little water on the face," and in the second clip clarifies his position that he is really truly supportive of "waterboarding terrorists" but not American citizens held in a privately-run prison.
From the terrific state blog Fired Up! Missouri:
The mocking of the controversy about waterboarding as "putting a little bit of water in their face" is really offensive. If Nieves doesn't think that waterboarding doesn't reach the threshold for torture, fine. I think he's wrong (as do more than 70% of Americans, including weak-kneed libruls like John McCain), but the minimizing of the practice as just "water in the face" is way beyond the pale.
....[T]his Nieves Doctrine of torturing terrorists -- but not American citizens -- raises another whole set of questions. For instance: how does the Nieves [Torture] Doctrine address situations in which an individual is both a terrorist and an American citizen? For instance, would it have been okay to waterboard Timothy McVeigh or Unabomber Ted Kaczynski? If waterboarding is both (a) not torture and (b) effective, then why wouldn't we do it to citizens?
And why don't the voters of Nieves' 98th district throw him out on his fanny? Because he's tougher on terrorists than John McCain? Maybe they think they'll get more media attention if they're represented by a pro-torture decline-of-the-GOP poster child. We got your media attention right here, Missouri.
More likely, because Nieves can't run for re-election in 2010 due to term limits, he's working really hard to make a name for himself state-wide as "more Republican than thou", which of course means really really loving the waterboarding thing.
Honestly, they make me sick.