Rudy Giuliani seems to be running for Sadist-in-Chief. Not only does he think that repeatedly putting someone through the sensation of drowning (that’s what “waterboarding” means) might or might not be torture, depending on who does it, he’s now making fun of the idea that sleep deprivation — one of the favorite techniques of the KGB, guaranteed to lead to psychosis if carried on long enough — constitutes torture.
They talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I’m getting tortured running for president of the United States. That’s plain silly. That’s silly.
John McCain, in one of his occasional imitations of a vertebrate, hit Giuliani where it hurts, saying that if Giuliani really doesn’t know that simulated drowning is torture that reflects his inexperience. “All I can say.” said McCain about the waterboard, “is that it was used in the Spanish Inquisition.”
Footnote Any bets on whether Giuliani charges McCain with anti-Catholic bias for referring to the Inquisition? I wouldn’t put it past him.
Update A reader points out that this is unfair to Giuliani; maybe he’s just in a temporary psychotic break due to the torture of his self-imposed sleep deprivation. That’s a reasonable point. But I knew Giuliani during his tenure as Associate Attorney General back in 1981. Twenty-six years is longer than normal for a temporary psychosis.