President Obama was asked by CNN “reporter” Dan Lothian (bio here) about his thoughts on the GOP candidates’ positions on the practice of waterboarding. Here’s how he set it up (via Real Clear Politics):
“Last night at the Republican debate, some of the hopefuls, they hope to get your job, they defended the practice of waterboarding which is a practice you banned in 2009. Herman Cain said, quote, ‘I don’t see that as torture.’ Michele Bachmann said that it’s, quote, ‘very effective.’ So I’m wondering if you think that they’re uninformed, out of touch, or irresponsible?” CNN’s White House correspondent Dan Lothian asked President Obama in Hawaii.
Talk about a set-up question!
Here’s the video:
President Obama’s instinctive answer, after pausing for a few seconds, was to joke that it was a “multiple choice question, isn’t it?”
First things first: The practice of waterboarding was effectively stopped in early 2003, and was “officially banned” under the administration of George W. Bush a few years after that (bolded emphasis added by me):
Nov 2, 2007 1:25pm – For all the debate over waterboarding, it has been used on only three al Qaeda figures, according to current and former U.S. intelligence officials. As ABC News first reported in September, waterboarding has not been used since 2003 and has been specifically prohibited since Gen. Michael Hayden took over as CIA director. Officials told ABC News on Sept. 14  that the controversial interrogation technique, in which a suspect has water poured over his mouth and nose to stimulate a drowning reflex as shown in the above demonstration, had been banned by the CIA director at the recommendation of his deputy, Steve Kappes. Hayden sought and received approval from the White House to remove waterboarding from the list of approved interrogation techniques first authorized by a presidential finding in 2002. The officials say the decision was made sometime last year but has never been publicly disclosed by the CIA.
Secondly: It’s been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt to be successful. We would still be searching for OBL without the use of waterboarding. The LA Library Tower plot likely wouldn’t have been stopped without the use of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques, either.
So, in addition to clearly being in the tank for Team Obama, Dan Lothian doesn’t have his facts together, either. Imagine that.
Gird your loins, my dear readers. Expect lots more softball, nudge nudge, wink wink “are the GOP candidates all nuts or just stupid?” questions from so-called “objective” MSM journalists in the coming weeks and months as the push to re-elect “The One” kicks into high gear.