Respected war correspondent Joe Galloway, in a recent column for Editor & Publisher, called the interrogation technique of “waterboarding” a form of “torture.”
In waterboarding, a victim has a rag placed in his mouth and is inverted head-down, as water is poured over the cloth, making it difficult to breathe.
However, four members of Oklahoma’s congressional delegation voted to allow the United States’ intelligence agencies the discretion to continue to use the practice, voting along party lines against a provision that would prohibit it.
Congressional records show that the following voted against 2008 Intelligence Authorization Act, a funding bill that contains language prohibiting waterboarding, in Section 327:
” Rep. Tom Cole, R-Moore;
” Rep. John Sullivan, R-Tulsa;
” Rep. Frank Lucas, R-Cheyenne; and
” Rep. Mary Fallin, R-Oklahoma City,
Despite opposition by Republicans, the bill passed the House, 222-199.
Voting to prohibit waterboarding was Dan Boren, D-Muskogee, Oklahoma’s lone Democrat in Washington.
“There is a bipartisan consensus that this practice is an unfavorable means of gathering intelligence for national security,” Boren said. “We should provide our intelligence services with every tool available to us, but several studies have shown that this method can actually hinder our ability to gather solid and reliable intelligence.”
Fallin said, “I support, in the limited cases where American lives are in imminent danger, the use of heightened interrogation techniques. I do not condone torture.” “Ben Fenwick