Giuliani on Torture

Responding to a question at a town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa, Rudy Giuliani gave his views on torture. It’s a lengthy answer and the transcript can be found here.

The short version is that Giuliani, like President Bush, says that torture is illegal, but that torture definitionally does not include things like waterboarding or sleep deprivation. He says, “America should engage in aggressive questioning of Islamic terrorists who are arrested or who are apprehended. Because if we don’t, we leave ourselves open to significant attack.”

“So let’s be careful on how we define this. And, sure we should be against torture. But we should not be against aggressive questioning. And the line between the two is going to require some really difficult decisions about drawing it and kind of trusting each other with the discretion for the president to make decisions about what has to be done in the interests of the American people.’’

He’s right and this was a great answer to the question of torture. It places the decision-making with the executive, where it should be, rather than with the legislature. Not everything that is reported to be a human rights violation really is. And there’s no doubt that Giuliani, if elected, would continue “aggressively questioning” terrorists.

He also made some swipes at the media; I’ve put them in the extended entry.

Mr. Giuliani said: “Well, I’m not sure [waterboarding is torture] either. I’m not sure it is either. It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately.”

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(Applause)

“If I can’t figure out that there’s been a significant media bias against this war, then I shouldn’t be running for president of the United States.”

(Applause)

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~ by Gabriel Malor on October 25, 2007.

 
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