Rep. Peter King says the 525-page Senate report on the CIA's interrogation and detention techniques does not detail torture, but instead just procedures that create what King described as "tremendous discomfort."
Speaking with both local radio and NewsMaxTV's America's Forum Wednesday, the New York Republican added it would be a crime if we didn't take these actions and that those who support the release of the Senate's scathing report have an attitude of "hate America first," "self-loathing," and "self-hatred."
"I don't believe these are torture at all. For instance, waterboarding, there were medical personnel present during the whole time. It creates tremendous discomfort — there's no doubt about it. It creates tremendous fear, but the fact is there was no lasting damage to these people and we got information from them, which is very helpful," King Told W-CBS in New York.
"We're not talking about anyone being burned or stabbed or cut or anything like that. We're talking about people being made to stand in awkward in positions, have water put into their nose and into their mouth. Nobody suffered any lasting injuries from this."
The Senate report details 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Zubaydah nearly drowning to death during some of their many waterboarding sessions. Zubaydah also lost his left eye during his detention with the CIA. In one instance, a detainee, Gul Rahman died in CIA custody.
In an interview with NewsmaxTV's America's Forum, King said it would be a crime if the methods detailed in the report hadn't been carried out, implying it could have prevented the Sept. 11 attacks.
"Listen, you know — you were down here on Sept. 11. You know what it was like, afterwards. The fear, and the legitimate fear that we were going to be attacked again. And the CIA was being criticized for not having gotten enough intelligence beforehand," King said.
"And, I, you know — not to oversimplify it, but to put it in the starkest terms: If we had captured Mohamed Atta on Sept. 9 or Sept. 10, 2001, and we knew that somewhere, within the next day or two, 3,000 Americans were going to be killed in a terrorist attack. And they would't have to jump out windows, they wouldn't have to be burned to death, if we could find out where that attack was gonna be. Are you saying that we would not have held Mohamed Atta's head under water until he told us where that was gonna be because that would be a crime against humanity, that would be a war crime? To me, the crime would be if we didn't do it."
Andrew Kaczynski is a political reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Andrew Kaczynski at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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