December 19th, 2007
06:05 PM ET
11 years ago

Giuliani: Waterboarding may be acceptable

CNN's Wolf Blitzer interviewed Giuliani on board the CNN Election Express Wednesday.

(CNN) - Republican presidential hopeful Rudy Giuliani said Wednesday that waterboarding should not be used regularly in interrogations, but might be called for in a “once in a lifetime, once in a decade situation.”

"Having looked at this, it certainly should not be a practice that should go on generally,” the former mayor of New York said in an interview in Columbia, Missouri.

But Giuliani told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that there may be situations where waterboarding - a technique where a person undergoes simulated drowning - would be warranted to obtain critical information from an alleged terrorist, such as the location of a nuclear bomb about to explode.

Many human rights organizations consider waterboarding to be torture.

"I don't think you can write this out as a procedure that should be write out for all situations,” Giuliani said. “I think the president and the appropriate officials should have some discretion here.”

– Senior Political Producer Scott Anderson

Filed under: Rudy Giuliani
soundoff (134 Responses)
  1. J.L., San Diego, CA

    Honestly this is one of the stupidest things I've heard in a while... a short while, considering this is presidential politics season... You start sliding down a slippery slope when you start making exceptions. One exception here, one exception there... and next thing you know the exception become the generally accepted course... I do realize though that Giuliani does have to pander to the right-wingers out there and statements like this does do that.

    December 19, 2007 06:50 pm at 6:50 pm |
  2. Mark, Takoma Park, MD

    Yet another example of how ill-prepared the Republicans are to lead this country. Has Rudy ever read the Geneva Conventions?

    December 19, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Hey Rudy lets practice waterboarding on you for cheating on your wives, lying to the people of NYC, and for putting the Communications Sercurity for NYC in the Twin Towers...

    December 19, 2007 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  4. jw, canadian,ok

    No Rudy, you idiot, wrong answer. IT'S AGAINST THE LAW.

    December 19, 2007 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  5. Billy, Fort Worth, TX

    Wolf what will it take to get a national primary, voting machines that have a paper trail, congress that does it's job instead of their party or special interest wishes, secure our borders and a govt that enforces our laws without political interference????

    December 19, 2007 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  6. Diane Minneapolis MN

    What don't people in government get about this issue? Don't they understand torture in any form, no matter how unimportant it may seem to them, is not ok at any time for any reason, and that includes waterboarding. torture is torture is torture. Period!

    December 19, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  7. Pixie, Murfreesboro, TN

    Shorter Guiliani: It's torture, except when we do it. Then it's ok.

    I think it's important to remember that America is very familiar with water boarding evidenced by the fact that we have classified it as torture and even prosecuted Japanese soldiers in during WW2 who water boarded our soldiers.

    If the US wants to adopt torture as a policy, then fine. But don't go around preaching to other nations about democracy and freedom and "civilized" society if we are going to implement the same techniques our enemies use.

    December 19, 2007 07:10 pm at 7:10 pm |
  8. Blayze Kohime, Columbus OH

    When will they learn? Research has already proven that torture does not work! All they get from torture is false confessions and bad information from people that will say anything to make it stop; this isn't the movies people.

    December 19, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  9. Scott R

    ... Many human rights organizations consider waterboarding to be torture. ... That's an understatement. Many COURTS have considered it torture also, even as far back as 100 years ago. After World War II, Japanese were tried as war criminals for using the technique. Now, opposing torture is considered a "liberal" position, vs. an American position.

    December 19, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  10. theo, Manorville, ny

    Yes, by all means lets tickle them to death. The rules have changed, and we are dealing with people that behead our soldiers, and strap bombs to their bodies murdering children in the process. Do whatever it takes to these people, and **** em.

    December 19, 2007 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  11. joe adhamyia iraq

    come on rudy, let's not go torturing the terrorists. better to let innocent americans die than to find out where that bomb's at...

    December 19, 2007 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |


    December 19, 2007 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  13. J Piske

    We better wake up as a nation. They decapitate, torture, set afire children, and our liberal progressives are worried about a little water to the head. Someone needs to explain this mindset to me.

    December 19, 2007 07:24 pm at 7:24 pm |
  14. Darth Vadik, Glendora CA

    We prosecuted and EXECUTED Japanese soldiers that waterboarded US Marines.

    I guess at that time waterboarding was torture, but not now. Is that right, and is it OK for other nations to waterboard our soldiers and Marines Rudy.

    You know what, these Republicans Neanderthals (who have never fought in one themselves, except for McCain who is against torture) want WAR, WAR and more WAR, need to just go away waterboard themselves, and leave this nation to the sane people who want peace and prosperity.

    Oh Rudy just go away already, you have no chance of getting the Republican nomination.

    December 19, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  15. Bill, Fort Riley, KS

    Lee, Mays Landin:

    I got an idea Lee...why don't you enlist in the armed forces and request a tour in Iraq or Afghanistan. I'm sure in those places you will have ample time and opportunity to hug and understand those that want to kill you...unless, of course they KILL YOU. Perhaps, upon your return, if you are still amongst the living, you will be less inclined to stereotype those that do not agree with your naive misguided pacifist positions.

    December 19, 2007 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  16. JC, Brooklyn, NY

    If waterboarding is cool, then I guess we shouldn't rule out cutting off someone's fingers or maybe even torturing a possible terrorist's mother in front them? Ya never know Rudy!

    December 19, 2007 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  17. Scott, Madison, WI

    Hey Rudy! Let's waterboard you so you can finally make up your sinister mind.
    Or would you and Hillary like to volley the flip-flop some more? You change your affections as frequently as she changes her positions.

    December 19, 2007 07:34 pm at 7:34 pm |
  18. RealityKing

    American's greatest enemies are within our own borders and follow along blindly behind an agenda driven media..

    December 19, 2007 07:49 pm at 7:49 pm |
  19. Mario ID

    All you Liberal loving idiots just make me laugh! we have terrorists killing our troops, our people (remember 9/11 or did you forget already) These idiots want us dead, they kidnap us, kill us and others of course, you liberal idiots just worship them. They can go hide a bomb, nuke...whatever in this country, it goes off and we cry, "Why didn't the governement do something about it" sure the Geneva many have broke those stupid rules! No, go ahead and torture those idiots, it saves lives in the long run,it even saves the lives of liberal fools in this country. My god, we have turned into a bunch of wusses! I don't want the terrorist tortured...I say kill them before they kill us. I hope we don't get a liberal as our next president, if so they will give this country away to the U.N.

    December 19, 2007 07:51 pm at 7:51 pm |
  20. Kathy, Champaign, IL

    "Many human rights organizations consider waterboarding to be torture."

    I'm pretty sure every human rights organization that ever existed considers waterboarding to be torture.

    December 19, 2007 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  21. Martin, Redwood City, CA

    This Romney guy is just a loose canon. He doesn't talk like the leader of the free world, he sounds like a petty politician looking for a headline. Look at how McCain deliveres a similar statement (i.e. it should have been Gen. Petreus) in a far more statesman-like way.

    At least McCain bothers to understand what Time magazine is looking to achieve and how it has awarded this 'title' in previous years:

    Time's choices for Person of the Year are often controversial. Editors are asked to choose the person or thing that had the greatest impact on the news, for good or ill—guidelines that leave them no choice but to select a newsworthy—not necessarily praiseworthy—cover subject.
    (Taken from Time's own website)

    December 19, 2007 07:54 pm at 7:54 pm |
  22. David, Madison, WI

    So Guiliani is in favor of torture? Yeah, he's someone I want leading our once great nation.

    December 19, 2007 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  23. therealist

    Water boarding would be the last thing on my mind if you were threatening my family. Go ahead throw me in jail, some activist judge is sure to let me go...

    December 19, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  24. user, mich

    Amerika rocks!

    December 19, 2007 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  25. Jordan, Tulsa OK

    This issue as well as several others reflects the hypocrisy of several "christian" politians. How is inducing drowning Christian? How does it make us more moral than our enemies? I'm not saying we should roll over and say, "Go ahead" to our enemies; rather I'm saying that given our position of power internationally we should set the moral standard. Giuliani is definitely not doing this.

    December 19, 2007 08:05 pm at 8:05 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6