Rep. Dana Rohrabacher Gets to the Bottom of Interrogation-by-Panties
Rep. Dana Rohrabacher on Wednesday dismissed the idea that taunting terrorism suspects with women's panties is a form of torture.
In a debate about detainee treatment at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the California Republican cited panties eight times,
arguing that making suspected terrorists wear women's underwear on their heads isn't demeaning and degrading enough to be called torture.
"You're suggesting that the behavior of, what, panties on his head ... is unacceptable interrogation technique for a man who was involved in a conspiracy to kill tens of thousands of Americans?" Rohrabacher asked during a House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing.
Rohrabacher was taking issue with FBI complaints about inappropriate and potentially illegal tactics used to get al-Qaida detainees to talk in the years following the Sept. 11 attacks. He said interrogation-by-panties was more akin to a "hazing pranks from some fraternity," not torture.
Some interrogation tactics used — even if not torture — might not be pleasant, Rohrabacher said. "I mean, OK, describing his mother and sister as whores, that's certainly not a nice thing to do," he said.
An exasperated Rep. Bill Delahunt, D-Mass., reminded Rohrabacher that interrogators were also seen physically abusing detainees.
"This isn't about panties on the head," Delahunt said. "This is about physical pressure, waterboarding and other techniques that apparently were utilized at Guantanamo."
Rohrabacher made a final point.
"I, in no way, will ever apologize that someone put panties on the head of this 9/11 terrorist and treated him without respect," he said. "That man should have no respect." Associated Press