The White House said today that Vice President Dick Cheney was not talking about a torture technique known as "water boarding" when he said dunking terrorism suspects in water during questioning was a "no-brainer." Such comments were made in an interview Tuesday with WDAY of Fargo, North Dakota, when Cheney was asked if "a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives." The vice president had replied, "Well, it's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in."
Peppered with questions about the remarks, White House spokesman Tony Snow said Cheney did not interpret the question as referring to water boarding and the vice president did not make any comments about water boarding. He said the question put to Cheney was loosely worded.
Human rights groups have complained that Cheney's comments amount to an endorsement of water boarding, in, which the victim believes he is about to drown. President Bush, asked about Cheney's comments, said, "This country doesn't torture. We're not going to torture." Such a comment from the president should be seen as following the standard response from his White House, though such deniability is just stupid considering the media attention paid to detainees in Cuba; in addition to secret CIA prison camps throughout Europe.
As reported on CNN.com, Larry Cox, executive director of Amnesty International USA, said in a statement, "What's really a no-brainer is that no U.S. official, much less a vice president, should champion torture. Vice President Cheney's advocacy of water boarding sets a new human rights low at a time when human rights is already scraping the bottom of the Bush administration barrel."
With US mid-term elections a week away the White House has given the Democrats some material to campaign with. The question is will they?