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Walker’s Pathetic Evasion on Torture

McKay Coppins tries to get Scott Walker to take a position on torture, but can’t get him to give a meaningful answer:

And quizzed on the ethicality of water-boarding, Walker demurred again: “I don’t spend enough time or have a knowledge base to comment.”

This is a pathetic answer. It doesn’t take specialized knowledge to understand what waterboarding involves and to know what civilized and lawful treatment of detainees requires. Unlike Christie’s non-responses on Iran, this isn’t an answer to a question about an ongoing, developing negotiation, but a risible evasion regarding a high-profile controversial subject that has been in the news for years. More to the point, his own co-author Marc Thiessen has written about this subject frequently for many years, and the same co-author holds appalling views in defense of a method of torture. Does Walker agree with those views? That’s the question that someone should put to him in the future. Professing ignorance on this issue would be a laughable response for any aspiring national politician, but it is even more so when Walker does it. Walker isn’t responsible for what Thiessen has written by himself, but he ought to be able to come up with a much better, more informed response to a question about waterboarding than this.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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