Romney Refuses To Call Waterboarding Torture, Says He’ll Consult With Blackwater’s Cofer Black

This post, written by Amanda Terkel, originally appeared on Think Progress

During last night's CNN/YouTube debate, a YouTube questioner asked the candidates why they refuse to condemn waterboarding as torture. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney said that before making such a determination, he would need to get "counsel on a matter of this nature" from "a lot" of people. One of the people with whom Romney said he would specifically like to speak is Blackwater vice chairman Cofer Black:
I am not. I'm not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we're able to do and what things we're not able to do. And I get that advice from Cofer Black, who is a person who was responsible for counterterrorism in the CIA for some 35 years.
Black is Romney's Senior Adviser for counterterrorism and national security issues. He has described Black as a man with a "long and impressive career dedicated to making America safer and more secure in the world," despite the fact that Blackwater has allegedly been involved in at least seven violent episodes this year that have left almost 30 Iraqi civilians dead.

Romney is also relying on a man for torture advice who in 2001, infamously ordered a CIA agent to "Capture Bin Laden, kill him and bring his head back in a box on dry ice," and once promised put the "heads" of terrorists in Afghanistan "on sticks":
"We're going to kill them," CIA counterterrorism official Cofer Black said, according to the book, which details the Bush administration's build-up to the Iraq war. "We're going to put their heads on sticks. When we're through with them they will have flies walking across their eyeballs."

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