Tom Ridge, the first secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, makes it clear – waterboarding is torture. On Friday, the former soldier told members of the American Bar Association at a homeland security conference that there is no doubt in his mind.
In an interview with the Associated Press, he said
One of America’s greatest strengths is the soft power of our value system and how we treat prisoners of war, and we don’t torture. And I believe, unlike others in the administration, that waterboarding was, is — and will always be — torture. That’s a simple statement.
Ed Brayton over at Dispatches from the Culture Wars offers some interesting insight into Ridge’s use of the phrase “soft power.”
In 2005, Ridge quit the homeland security job created in the wake of Sept. 11. His remarks drew a clear line between his position and those of the current administration. On Thursday, the current Homeland Security secretary, Michael Chertoff, refused to say what he thinks of the interrogation technique.
Lauri in York