Giuliani Leaves Door Open to Waterboarding

By Jake Whitman

Oct 25, 2007 12:59am

ABC News’ Jan Simmonds reports: Rudy Giuliani, R-N.Y., left the door open, Wednesday evening, on whether the United States should engage in waterboarding, an interrogation technique that simulates drowning, when trying to protract information from suspected terrorists.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Davenport, Iowa, Giuliani was asked whether he agreed with U.S. Attorney General nominee Michael Mukasey on the subject of waterboarding. Mukasey said during his confirmation hearings last Thursday that he was not certain waterboarding was torture.

“I’m not sure it is either, it depends on how it is done,” said Giuliani who is a longtime friend of Mukasey. “It depends on the circumstances. It depends on who does it.”

The former New York City Mayor and Justice Department official during the Reagan Administration went on to say he thought the “liberal media” might not be describing waterboarding correctly.

“Sometimes they describe it accurately, sometimes the exaggerate it,” said Giuliani. “So I’d have to see what the real… what they really are doing. Not the way some of these liberal newspapers have exaggerated it.”

Giuliani was clear to point out that the United States should not be involved in torture.

“America should not stand for torture. America should not allow for torture,” Giuliani ensured the crowd of over 200. “But America should engage in aggressive questioning of Islamic Terrorists who are arrested or apprehended.”

During the town hall, which he arrived to over an hour late due to inclement weather in New York, Giuliani made several other notable statements.

Among them were his first public comments about the wildfires in California. Giuliani offered his prayers to those affected and called the situation “horrible and tragic”

But Giuliani did feel that the relief and rescue efforts were going well, “unlike the Katrina situation” he added.

“It looks like Governor Schwarzenegger is, as you would imagine, on top of it – because he is like that,” said Giuliani. “It’s gotta be a comfort to have the Terminator handling things for you, right?”

The Republican national front-runner also noted that his party’s critiques of Hillary Clinton may not always be justified.

An Iowan asked why Giuliani thought young people may be turned off to politics, to which Giuliani responded personal attacks may have something to do it.

“A lot of Democratic politics is organized around anger at President Bush,” he said. “Its not healthy. And some of our politics is organized as anger around Hillary Clinton. I mean it is and its not healthy. What it should be organized about… to disagree with the policies of either one is fine. And then what we (the Republican Party) should be about are the opposite policies.”

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