Apparently Joe Scarborough hasn't read either this article -- Detainee's Harsh Treatment Foiled No Plots -- or this one: Tortured Reasoning. If he has, it didn't stop him from reading the RNC Talking Point of the day and doing some fearmongering on Morning Joe. If he really wants to debate the issue, I'd like to see him debate Jonathan Turley rather than have David Gregory splitting hairs about whether some of this was right because Democratic administrations didn't follow the law either by using rendition.
Scarborough: And you know, David, there are people I have great respect for that believe that waterboarding is torture and what makes this issue, and I would actually like to have a public debate about waterboarding. What makes waterboarding such a complicated issue is that it was in fact the most effective technique that led to the capture of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed by its use on prisoners before Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured and then it led to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed revealing some of al Qaeda's greatest secrets afterward through waterboarding.
It was obviously very, very effective but it is also very, very offensive to some Americans and I suspect we need to have that debate out in the open because it's not being used now. And it's not being used now because al Qaeda leaders know if their people are captured they're going to put them in a ten degree angle. We're going to pour water on them for forty seconds and we're going to make them think they're drowning except they'll know we're not going to really let them drown. So why, maybe we should have this debate out in the open.
Gregory: Well I think having that public debate is very important to find out in fact whether these things do work. And that's the debate. Because there are people on the right and the left who say look, you can tout various examples but the reality is that these techniques actually don't produce the desired result and they have a compromising affect on those who do it and ultimately endanger American lives whether it's US troops overseas or others.
But I mean to your point this is why you do need a kind of public debate to talk about in less stressful times, you know what stressful techniques actually work. What's the morality of it? What's the legality of it? What's the best policy? Because making these decisions under duress is very difficult but that's when you need a real vetting of the effectiveness of these policies.
Scarborough: Alright ... David brings up another good point that I would love debated in full because when we have these debates and the sound bytes are thrown out there one of the things that David said you'll hear is people will say waterboarding is not effective.
Well, history has shown over the past seven years that actually it is very, very effective. Let's tell the truth. Let's talk about what information we got with waterboarding and then we can debate it.
....It's effective but is it worth it....Maybe it would have been better for a couple of other cities to burn ... um ... instead of waterboarding and we can have that debate. If you'd like Washington DC and Los Angeles to be obliterated by a nuclear blast I certainly respect your opinion and I think we should just talk about it.