Did Rudy Giuliani Have Mafia Suspects Tortured?:
Rudy Giuliani, in answer to a question about torture and Attorney General nominee and Giuliani butt buddy Michael Mukasey at an Iowa townhall meeting, took a mulligan on waterboarding (more on that in a moment) and said this about what techniques he believed in: "America should engage in aggressive questioning of Islamic terrorists who are arrested or who are apprehended...we can’t abandon aggressive questioning of people who are intent on coming here to kill us. Or killing us overseas. I think that that’s the point that the attorney general designate was trying to make." He refused to condemn anything the Bush administration does in this regard, and he pointedly said he wanted to maintain the President's power to break the law (which has gotta be the greatest superpower ever).
Then, attacking Democrats, he said this: "That comes from people who have never investigated a real criminal case, never investigated organized crime. You know how I put hundreds of Mafia people in jail? And I helped to put thousands in Italy in jail? You know how I did it? I did it by electronic surveillance and aggressive questioning...They got ‘em because we arrested them, we got very significant charges on them, and we questioned them for long, long periods of time. With very aggressive techniques." Yeah, he denied that the suspects were tortured, but what definition of tortured is he operating under?
Now, follow the bouncing ball of logic in the rest of Giuliani's words. He mocked the idea that sleep deprivation counted as torture, that it's a fantasy of the liberal media: "[T]hey talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States. That’s plain silly." The Rude Pundit's not on the bus with Giuliani, but he's pretty sure that things aren't going this way for the candidate: "[T]o keep her from sleeping, one of her captors entered her room every 10 minutes and poured water over her head." That's how a torture victim was treated by Honduran interrogators, trained by the CIA, in the 1980s. Plain silly, in Rudy's world, like a pillow fight or a dancing bear.
As for waterboarding, Giuliani doesn't necessarily believe what the "liberal media" says about the technique. In one of the most weaselly things said by this man, who is half human, half weasel, at best, he declared, "It depends on how it’s done. It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it. I think the way it’s been defined in the media, it shouldn’t be done. The way in which they have described it, particularly in the liberal media. So I would say, if that’s the description of it, then I can agree, that it shouldn’t be done. But I have to see what the real description of it is. Because I’ve learned something being in public life as long as I have. And I hate to shock anybody with this, but the newspapers don’t always describe it accurately."
You got that? If it really is what it is, then it's bad, but if the United States has created a kinder, gentler version of waterboarding, then it's all good. Maybe we're just gently washing the faces of detainees. Giuliani was defending Mukasey not answering the Senate Democrats' questions on whether or not waterboarding is torture by refusing to say if it's torture. John McCain, with the last shards of whatever moral authority he still has, responded to Giuliani with a right proper bitch slap.
Here, by the way, is how the not-liberal Washington Times describes waterboarding: "Waterboarding consists of immobilizing a person on an inclined board and pouring water over his or her face to simulate drowning. With a cloth over their nose and mouth and cellophane wrapped across their face, the water elicits a gag reflex and can make the person think his death is imminent while not causing physical evidence of torture." That definition, by the way, is not attributed to any source, which means it's the accepted way the newspaper views waterboarding.
So, since sleep deprivation and at least some form of simulated drowning fall under "aggressive questioning," and are not toture, the question remains: How aggressively did Giuliani have mob suspects interrogated? What was allowed under his watch? What was too far?
Giuliani and other non-McCain Republicans are trying to have it all: acting like big, tough men without being willing to say what they mean by "aggressive questioning" or "enhanced interrogation." They want you to just eat your hot dogs, quiescent motherfuckers that Americans can be, and not think about all the pig anuses, rat turds, and poisonous preservatives that go into that casing.
(By the way, for real Halloween season fun, watch the video of Giuliani giving his response. His hands curled, his sneer-smile on full display, he's working that creepy Count Orlock vibe like nobody can. You want to scream, "Look out behind you" at the gathered Iowans. But then they applaud him, and you figure they deserve to have Rudy plunge his gnarled teeth into their necks and suck them dry.)