Lieberman Still a Fan of Waterboarding
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I've long said it's time to give Joe Lieberman the boot, and his stance on torture makes me think we need to revive the Lieberman Must Go campaign. In an interview with Fox's Greta Van Susteren yesterday, the hawkishly Independent Connecticut Senator said of President Obama's decision to release the torture memos, "It wasn't necessary. It just helps our enemies. It doesn't really help us."
Then, when Van Susteren asked whether waterboarding constitutes torture, Lieberman fell short of actually defining it as such and went on to suggest the President ought to be able to use methods like torture in the future. What's more, Lieberman again claimed that waterboarding and other abhorrent interrogation techniques are successful in extracting information:
Well, I take a minority position on this. Most people think it's definitely torture. The truth is, it has mostly a psychological impact on people. It's a terrible thing to do. I've said in the past, and I'll say it again to you -- that I want the President of the United States, in a given circumstance where we believe somebody we've got in our control may have information that will help us stop an attack, an imminent attack on the United States like 9/11 or, God forbid, worse, we ought to be able to use something like waterboarding. But generally speaking it ought not to be on the table.
Incidentally, I believe General Hayden when he says that not just waterboarding, which he stopped, as I understand it, but a number of the other items on that list that has been published, really did work -- did help to give us a lot of the information that we have about Al Qaeda.
First of all, why is Fox still asking the question of whether waterboarding constitutes torture? When Attorney General Eric Holder calls waterboarding torture, it's no longer up for debate! Even John McCain, the object of Lieberman's Senatorial bromance, thinks it's torture. Is Fox actually trying to show us how foolish Lieberman looks? If so, Lieberman beat Fox to the punch by joking about waterboarding at a black-tie event last year.
ZP Heller is the editorial director of Brave New Films. He has written for The American Prospect, AlterNet, The Philadelphia Inquirer, and The Huffington Post, covering everything from politics to pop culture.