After watching a college-basketball game that took place aboard a 113,500-ton aircraft carrier, President Obama did something even more absurd by the end of the weekend: he reiterated, yet again, that yes, he believes waterboarding is torture, just like he did when he banend the practice in 2009. After his address at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation yesterday evening, CNN's Dan Lothian decided to query the president yet again about the practice, and to no one's surprise, Obama said his position hasn't changed, using the strongest language he could muster:
They’re wrong. Waterboarding is torture. It’s contrary to America’s traditions. It’s contrary to our ideals. That’s not who we are. That’s not how we operate. We don’t need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism. And we did the right thing by ending that practice.
So who are the "they" that are wrong, and why was Lothian all of the sudden asking the president about waterboarding again? The "they" are the Republican presidential candidates -- which include Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, Rick Perry, and Rick Santorum -- who signaled their support of waterboarding as an interrogation technique during the primary debate this weekend, according to CBS News, with Bachman and Cain explicitly saying they'd bring it back as an interrogation technique if president. (Only Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul denounced the practice.) So we can blame GOP for making it feel like 2007 again.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.