Plenty of politicians and pundits have expounded upon the intellectual arguments about why the Bush Administration was wrong in using torture techniques on detainees during interrogation. Often, though, plain-spoken language is more effective in crystallizing an idea for people.
The latest example is words uttered by Jesse Ventura, the former pro wrestler who was once the governor of Minnesota. Appearing Tuesday night on CNN’s Larry King Live, Ventura succinctly and effectively spoke about the torture issue.
A former Navy SEAL who underwent waterboarding as part of his training, Ventura doesn’t mince his words: It’s torture, and perpetrators should be prosecuted.
“I'm bothered over Guantanamo because it seems we have created our own Hanoi Hilton,” Ventura told King. “We can live with that? I have a problem. I will criticize President Obama on this level: It's a good thing I'm not president because I would prosecute every person that was involved in that torture. I would prosecute the people that did it. I would prosecute the people that ordered it. Because torture is against the law.”
To be sure, Ventura’s no liberal. He ran for governor as a libertarian-leaning, tax-hating independent.
And as most intelligence officials and military personnel know, torture isn’t useful at eliciting reliable information. The person being tortured most likely will tell his interrogators whatever they want to hear in order to make the ordeal stop.
“It is no good, because you — I'll put it to you this way, you give me a water board, Dick Cheney and one hour, and I'll have him confess to the Sharon Tate murders,” Ventura said.
Now that would make for some compelling television.