January 15th, 2009
10:37 AM ET
14 years ago

Holder: Waterboarding is torture

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/15/art.holder1.cnn.jpg caption=" Holder said Wednesday Waterboarding is torture."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Attorney General designate Eric Holder said Thursday "waterboarding is torture" and a violation of the Geneva Conventions during his
confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Watch: Holder on waterboarding


Filed under: Eric Holder
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. St Louie

    It doesn't matter what the "realities of today's world" are Erik S. It shouldn't stop us as a people from expecting our gov and our politicians to behave in an upstanding manner, to uphold the Geneva Conv. We agreed to it and we can't stop expecting morality in the area of torture or the right to privacy or anything else this country is supposed to stand for. When we stop expecting it, then we absolutely won't get it. The past is past. Let's move forward. We elected someone to create change. Holder is stating how most Americans feel about waterboarding, regardless if it's what we want to hear.

    January 15, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  2. DP

    Does anyone realize who is held at Guantanamo? The mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing has the possibility of going free if we shut down the prison. I cannot fathom that anyone would think someone who planned and bombed a US warship killing several of our service personnel thinks this person should go free. They do not deserve rights under our Constitution. They shouuld not be allowed on American soil. Where were the rules of engagement when the terrorist attacked us? This is war where people die, not some sporting event. The end result out is we will put a bullet in the head of the attackers rather than worrying about taking prisoners because killing on the battlefield is legal.

    January 15, 2009 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  3. Marc

    @ New Yorker – January 15th, 2009 12:27 pm ET
    'Torture? Keep in mind the one who is subject to the posibility of torture is only tortured if they themselves permit it. All they have to do is "talk" in order to prevent it.' – HOW DELUSIONAL YOU ARE!
    First of all, no one allows him/herself to be tortured. He/she/they are tortured because someone wants some information or confession or both from him/her/them.
    Second of all, if the torturer truly believes that the person he is about to torture knows something, then he is not going to stop until this person 'proves' him/her right or a superior of the torturer realizes that the tortured is telling the truth (and the torturer is, among many other things, an idiot for believing that he could get something with his methods).
    Third, did you ever heard about why torture, after being used for centuries, was slowly being replaced by things like investigation and proper enquires? Because there's a point in which the tortured person can no longer stand the inhuman treatment he/sh is receiving and tells ANYTHING to stop it, thus the purpose of the torture ('find the truth') is overwhelmed by the desire of the tortured to stop his/hers suffering. Pretty reliable source of information, right?
    So why does so many countries around the world still use and practice such heinous method of investigation? Are they any democracy to the strict meaning of the word? No. Do they have a real Judicial System (and not a do-what-the government-orders-or-else bunch of judges)? Nope. Can the US be compared to these countries (as of now... not yet, but thye more the BUSH doctrine is still being used the more likely for that to happen).

    CNN – Stop moderating my posts!

    January 15, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. scdemocrat

    Do all of you people remember 9-11 happened on Bushs watch? Do you remember the Presidential Daily Briefing entitled Osama Bin Laden determined to attack in the US? You know, the one Bush got on August 8th 2001? HMMMMM he has really done a great job hasn't he ? ROFL.
    Also, since the US did execute Japanese soldiers for waterboarding because it was torture, should the US be charged with their murder for killing innocent people?

    January 15, 2009 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  5. :toot:

    I hope some of you realize that torture is the LEAST reliable piece of intelligence. After awhile, a person will say anything so they aren't tortured anymore.

    The fact that torture is even used as an intelligence gathering method is beyond stupid for our nation anyways because of how unreliable the information they receive. Also, how are we any better than the terrorists if we allow this to happen anyways? It's sad and hypocritical that in one breath a lot of people throw around how we're a God Fearing country and in the next that it's somehow okay to do these things to another person, no matter who it is.

    It's just crazy seeing some of the logic you people are using.

    January 15, 2009 01:51 pm at 1:51 pm |
  6. Ghost

    Dan, excellent points.

    I'm all for going Jack Bauer on a suspect when the suspect is known to have credible info critical to saving lives. But we don't have plain sight bad guys like that. What we have at best is a witch hunt. Racial profiling at it's finest.

    When we start to bend the laws when it suits our needs, we are heading down a very slippery slope.

    January 15, 2009 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  7. AP

    "waterboarding is torture"

    Well, duh.

    January 15, 2009 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  8. richard

    Only democrats think that cutting off someones head is not Torture but waterboarding is.

    January 15, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  9. German,Irish American

    Lets see, 3000 innocent Americans die, terrorists broadcast be-headings of Americans around the world, they brag and take claim to bombing innocent women and children, yet the hatefilled Democrats,and soon to be ignorant attorney general, get their panties in a twist over one, two, three, thats THREE cases of waterboarding, and ZERO cases since 2003. By the way, waterboarding doesn't leave any physical scars, let alone cause death, and many of our special forces personal in the military have undergone waterboarding in training.

    January 15, 2009 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  10. Steve

    Maggie January 15th, 2009 11:03 am ET

    Hey, Kevin, no one is saying to play nice with terrorists.

    There is a Geneva Convention, remember?
    --------------------------
    Maggie, Maggie, Maggie!

    The Geneva Convention DOES NOT apply to terrorists! Nice try!

    January 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  11. Peggy the Unemployed

    Torture is just plain wrong. Our use of it puts in with such countries as Somalia, Uganda and other enlightened societies. We ARE the good guys.

    January 15, 2009 01:58 pm at 1:58 pm |
  12. Tired of W, but not much longer...

    @richard: "Only democrats think that cutting off someones head is not Torture but waterboarding is."

    So the only way we beat the terrorists is to do what they do?!? Don't you see that it's wrong, no matter which side does it?!?

    When the good people of this country start acting like terrorists, the terrorists have won. What part of that statement is difficult to understand?

    January 15, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. People make no sense

    I'm for waterboarding. Let's start with everyone in the Bush administration because I don't believe a word they say.

    January 15, 2009 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
  14. Uncle Fester

    raul January 15th, 2009 12:27 pm ET

    @ Kelly

    So u are saying our troops and the terrorist are the same . Give me a break !!!!!

    Where did Kelly say that? What Kelly asked is are you OK with our troops being waterboarded by an enemy? If we dish it out, we should expect to take it, from a terrorist, or any other enemy

    January 15, 2009 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  15. Tired of W, but not much longer...

    Several people have pointed out that the Geneva Convention does not apply to terrorists. That may be true, but is everyone in Gitmo a terrorist? Hard to say, because they have not been found guilty of anything! I hate terrorists as much as the next guy, but it's wrong to round up a bunch of suspects and torture false confessions out them. Terrorism is not a mortal enemy. It is a method. The only way to defeat it is to live without fear.

    Those who live in fear of attacks: The terrorists have already beat you.

    Those who approve of torture: You are no better than terrorists.

    January 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  16. MJM

    We really need to work on keeping better secrets in this country.

    O.K. people.... we're not going to waterboard any more 😉

    Glade we got that settled.

    Time to "bathe" the terrorist 😉

    January 15, 2009 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  17. Richard

    EVERYONE here knows FAR LESS about torture than John McCain.

    Ask John McCain about torture and then claim you know better than he does.

    January 15, 2009 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  18. Uncle Fester

    @dAVE
    It used to be that people would rather die with honor than live fearful and cowardly, but I guess that day is gone. Bravery and torture are incompatible. Ponder that reality for a bit.
    -–
    Well said- Freedom isn't free. Living in an open and free country
    comes with risk.
    There are a whole lot of people on this board that need to grow a set.

    January 15, 2009 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  19. Thersa

    Torture leads to false information. Part of the reason we're in Iraq is that we tortured al-Libi until we changed his story so that there were WMD. Now we have thousands of dead US soldiers and many more dead Iraqis and oops! no WMD.
    There is not one verifiable instance Bush can point to that's proven torture works.
    Abu Zubaydah (sp?) was giving information readily until we tortured him and he went completely insane and has been useless.
    We gave up our souls and have gotten nothing in return.

    January 15, 2009 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  20. thefletch

    hey all you dumb libs.....if it was done right there would be no one left to torture cause if they are on the battlefield and shooting at us then we should just kill them all end of problem and if they pop up again somewhere eles than kill them there too war is hell oh thats right with you guys in charge we will all just get along just fine unless a dumb ole Republican gets in the way and screws it all up and steps on your flowers {;-)

    January 15, 2009 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  21. Camilla

    Hear hear. Today America is a better place to be. Thank you for that.

    January 15, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  22. Kenneth

    richard January 15th, 2009 1:56 pm ET
    Only democrats think that cutting off someones head is not Torture but waterboarding is.

    Uhhhh.... really? what are you, in 3rd grade?

    Uh, cutting off someones head is not torture, it's called Murder. Reading your comment, however, is torture.

    January 15, 2009 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  23. Amber

    MJM – what a good little Nazi you would have made.

    January 15, 2009 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  24. JJ

    Everyone posting on here should really stop calling people things like "dumb libs" or "hatefilled Democrats" as that doesn't help anything. Calling people names only makes them shut you out and gives them zero reason to listen to your opinions.

    Even though the comments I posted on here (or tried to 🙂 ) show that I definetly don't agree with the liberal viewpoint, I'm not going to bash them because they have different opinions than me. Just make rational arguements and hope that other listen!

    January 15, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. raul

    @ Uncle Fester

    Do you seriously believe if we do not use waterboarding , the terrorists will treat our captured soldiers nicely ? Think about Daniel Pearl .

    This notion that treating the terrorists nicely would make them ' like ' us is absolutely false .

    January 15, 2009 02:35 pm at 2:35 pm |
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