Obama Re-Affirms: Waterboarding Is Torture

That torture is still being debated is Obama's fault, says Andrew Cohen
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 14, 2011 6:09 AM CST
Updated Nov 14, 2011 7:51 AM CST
Obama Re-Affirms: Waterboarding Is Torture
US President Barack Obama delivers remarks at a press conference after the closing plenary session of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit yesterday.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – Just a day after Herman Cain and Michele Bachmann said they supported waterboarding, President Obama re-affirmed that the procedure is torture and "contrary to America's traditions," reports the AP. Obama and his administration have said that waterboarding is torture and illegal since taking office, but after several Republican candidates revived the subject in Saturday night's foreign policy debate, the president re-stated his position in a news conference at Hawaii's APEC meeting.

Why does this issue continue to linger? Writing for the Atlantic, Andrew Cohen says that while we can blame plenty of people—from cowardly officials to lazy voters to the shallow media—it is chiefly the fault of ... President Obama. "He practically invited it when he refused to authorize a national commission on torture," writes Cohen, who thinks that a torture commission would have been as effective as the 9/11 Commission was in tackling conspiracy theories. "It would have separated fact from fiction." Instead, "legal and political accountability took a back seat to convenience; we all took the easy way out." (Read more torture stories.)

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