US General to School Kids – We Need To Waterboard

US General to School Kids – We Need To Waterboard

November 2, 2007

Army General Russel Honore said the general public shouldn’t be so quick to condemn the use of waterboarding as an interrogation technique.

“I don’t know much about it, but I know we’re dealing with terrorists who do some very awful things to people,” he said after Friday morning’s speech to about 900 students at Flat Rock Middle School in Tyrone. “I know enough about [waterboarding] that the intent is not to kill anybody. We know that terrorists that we deal with, they have no law that they abide by. They have no code, they kill indiscriminately, like they did on 9/11.”

Honore, a no-nonsense three-star who commands the Fort Gillem-based First Army, also spoke of his plans to leave the army in the upcoming months and perhaps teach at a university. The 37-year Army veteran also hinted at a possible future run for political office.

The issue of waterboarding, a technique that simulates drowning, has been the raging debate surrounding Michael Mukasey, President Bush’s nominee for attorney general.

Mukasey has refused to define the technique — generally described as strapping a detainee down, wrapping his face in a wet towel and dripping water on it to produce the sensation of drowning — as torture during recent congressional testimony.

Torture is considered a war crime by the international community. CIA interrogators are believed to have used waterboarding against detained terror suspects.

Honore, however, emphasized the military will always remain within the limits of the law, but warned that stiffer interrogation methods may sometimes be necessary in the war on terror.

“If we picked up a prisoner that could tell us where the next 9/11 plot was, we could sit there and treat him nice, and that may not work,” he said. “We could sit there and give him water and we could be politically correct.

“But if we have to use sources and methods that get information that not only save American lives, but save other people’s lives or could prevent a major catastrophe from happening, I think the American people can decide [whether to allow waterboarding].”

Honore became a national folk hero of sorts in 2005 after taking command of the government’s embarrassingly slow response to the devastated residents of the Gulf Coast in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin once described him as “a John Wayne dude who gets things done.”

That applies to fighting the war on terror as well.

“As long as we’re responsible for hunting those SOBs down, finding them and preventing them from killing our sons and daughters,” Honore said, “I think we’ve got an obligation to do what the hell we’ve got to do to make sure we get the mission done.”

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