By John Ostapkovich
Philadelphia (CBS) – A New Jersey scholar who set out to investigate waterboarding instead turned to its not-so-distant relatives.
Although Robert Pallitto, political science professor at Seton Hall University, has no doubt that waterboarding is torture, he says the arguments that it’s not, or so what if it is, echo through our history.
Here’s an example from his book “Torture and State Violence in the Untied States.”
“While the Spanish-American War was going on, there was some pretty clear evidence that Filipino insurgents where being tortured by U.S. forces, and when you look at what President Theodore Roosevelt said in response, he sort of justified and condemned at the same time and the words sound disturbingly similar to what President Bush said 100 years later.”
Professor Pallitto says New Jersey allowed branding of criminals with a letter for their offense (like a T for a thief) for decades after the Bill or Rights banned “cruel and unusual punishment.”