Republican strategist and former senior advisor to President George W. Bush argued on Sunday that the CIA's use of waterboarding on detainees could not be considered torture because it was "designed" to let the victim live.
In an interview on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pointed out that the Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's use of torture had revealed techniques including a "series of near drownings," sleep deprivation, and unnecessary "rectal feedings."
"Isn't that torture by any definition?" Wallace asked.
"No," Rove insisted. "Let's get the rectal feedings out. In this report, there are nine references on 14 pages to rectal feedings. And four of those five, it is the result of a hunger strike by the detainee."
Rove asserted that waterboarding, slapping detainees, and solitary confinement were also "carefully designed."
"The tests were, do they involved severe pain or suffering or do they involve severe and prolonged mental pain or suffering?" he opined. "And in each instance, these procedures were designed so that they would not pass those barriers."
"Take, for example, waterboarding," Rove continued. "In waterboarding -- unlike World War II, where the Japanese attempted to drown people by basically pouring water in their mouths -- here the feet were elevated so there's little or not chance of any fluid getting into the lungs. And very careful standards set in place so these would help break the the resistance of the detainee without placing their life in danger."