General David Petraeus, currently commander of the US military in Afghanistan, but soon to be the director of the Central Intelligence Agency, says the US should consider using special interrogation techniques when a captive is withholding information that is immediately needed to save lives.
In the vast majority of cases, General Petraeus said, the 'humane' questioning standards mandated by the US Army field manual were sufficient to persuade detainees to talk. But, he said, at his CIA confirmation hearing before the Senate intelligence committee, "there should be discussion... by policy makers and by Congress" of something "more than the normal techniques".
Torture is what Petraeus meant, and he described an example of a detainee who knew how to disarm a nuclear device set to explode under the Empire State Building. Congress might want to give the President the option of taking extraordinary measures to extract that information, he said.
In this video, Keith Olberman explains why this is so ridiculous that President Obama should withdraw immediately the nomination of General Petraeus as the next chief of the CIA.