Texas Rep. Ron Paul on Saturday called supporting torture “un-American” after two of his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination said that if they were elected, they would allow waterboarding to be used on detainees captured by the United States
At Saturday night’s CBS/National Journal Republican presidential debate in South Carolina, businessman Herman Cain said of waterboarding, a technique where water is poured over the face of a detainee to simulate drowning: “I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.”
Likewise, Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann said to applause: “If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding.”
Paul made it clear he couldn’t disagree more with Cain and Bachmann.
“Torture is illegal … waterboarding is torture,” Paul said. “It’s illegal under international law and under our law. It’s also immoral and it’s also very impractical. There’s no evidence that you really get reliable evidence.”
Paul added: “I think it’s uncivilized. It would have no practical advantages and is really un-American to accept on principle that we will torture people we will capture.”
His campaign also immediately emailed reporters after the exchange in the debate: “In the ‘80s, the Reagan Department of Justice, defined waterboarding as torture. Ron Paul is a Reagan Republican, his views are in-line with that definition. Most of the other candidates on stage believe otherwise,” Paul press secretary Gary Howard said.
One other candidate agreed with Paul.
“We diminish our standing in the world and the values we project which include liberty, Democracy, human rights and open markets when we torture,” former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman said. “We should not torture. Waterboarding is torture.”