Candidates speak out on waterboarding

Emily_LitellaAs we approach the primaries, many voters are interested in the candidates’ positions on the controversial subject of waterboarding. As a public service, I am providing the following quotations:

Rudy Giuliani on waterboarding:

I’m in the same position now that I was 12 years ago when I ran for mayor — which is, personally opposed to [waterboarding], don’t like it, hate it, would advise that [interrogators give their prisoners to a loving family] rather than [waterboard]… But it is your choice, an individual right. You get to make that choice, and I don’t think society should be putting you in jail. — Rudy Giuliani, April 2007

I have a daughter now. I would give my personal advice, my religious and moral views… I would help her with taking care of [her prisoner]. But if the ultimate choice of the woman — my daughter or any other woman — would be that in this particular circumstance, to [waterboard the prisoner], I’d support that. I’d give my daughter the money for it. — Rudy Giuliani on Phil Donohue

I am pro-choice. But I’m also, as you know, against [waterboarding], hate [waterboarding], don’t like it, wouldn’t personally advise anyone to [waterboard a prisoner]. But I believe [an interrogator] has a right to choose and we can’t have criminal penalties. — Rudy Giuliani on Larry King Live

Hillary Rodham Clinton on waterboarding:

This decision, which is one of the most fundamental, difficult and soul searching decisions [any interrogator] can make, is also one in which the government should have no role. I believe we can all recognize that [waterboarding] in many ways represents a sad, even tragic choice to many, many [interrogators]…. This decision is a profound and complicated one; a difficult one, often the most difficult that [any interrogator] will ever make. The fact is that the best way to reduce the number of [waterboardings] is to reduce the number of unwanted [acts of terrorism] in the first place.

Yes we do have deeply held differences of opinion about the issue of [waterboarding]. I for one respect those who believe with all their hearts and conscience that there are no circumstances under which [waterboarding] should ever be available. … The problem I always have is what is the proper role of government in making this decision? — Hillary Rodham Clinton, January 2005

Update: Well, this is embarrassing. I have just been informed by an alert reader that all of these statements were actually made in support of abortion, not waterboarding. I deeply regret this error. As that great political commentator Emily Litella so eloquently (and often) said, “Never mind.”

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  1. Great stuff. Gives new meaning to the term “wishy-washy”.

  2. Excellent substitution. How can society be so tolerant of one inhumanity while being so strongly intolerant of almost all others?