New York Congressman Peter King on Wednesday defended the torture techniques described in the executive summary of the Senate Intelligence Committee's report on Central Intelligence Agency interrogation tactics, saying that the agency's methods were "really very mild."
Appearing on Newsmax TV, the Republican assailed Intelligence Committee chairwoman Dianne Feinstein's release of the summary and pooh-poohed its findings. In the summary, the committee documented how CIA interrogators waterboarded detainees to the point of near-drowning, deprived prisoners of sleep for as long as a week, force-fed detainees through their rectums, and made prisoners stand in stress positions on broken feet and legs, among other methods of torture. Compared with what usually happens in war, King asserted, the techniques outlined in the committee study were nothing unusual.
"The fact is we’re talking about enemies here — enemies of a foreign power who are coming to kill us," King told host J. D. Hayworth. "This was really very mild. Why do people have this ‘hate America first’ attitude? This self-loathing, this self-hatred is beyond me," he added.
Asked by Hayworth whether committee Democrats released the report to distract from congressional testimony Tuesday by controversial Obamacare adviser Jonathan Gruber -- a conspiracy theory floated by Fox News -- King agreed that they had.
"All the news, all the attention was put on the CIA report," King replied. "We have to assume that there’s politics involved here when you’re talking about Harry Reid and the Democrats, you’re talking about the administration. It didn’t have to be yesterday. It could have been today, it could’ve been tomorrow, it could’ve been next week."
Watch the interview below, via Right Wing Watch: