Harry Truman by Tom Simpson at flickr.com

On Saturday at the latest Republican debate a solid majority of the candidates embraced the prospect of waterboarding a foreigner. Only the marginalized Paul and ostracized Huntsman disapproved.

Carrying on the charade — but then what else does she have — Michelle Bachmann stated this in an interview:

“If I were president, I would be willing to use waterboarding,” the Minnesota Republican declared. “It was very effective. It gained information for our country.”

Well, actually no it was not at all effective. It just made sociopaths feel better.

And then it was time to drop the other non-historical big one:

“I would go back to president Harry Truman who had to make the horrific decision about dropping an atomic bomb on Japan to end World War II. He said if he had to kill Japanese in order to save one American life, he would.”

This is an old conservative canard glorified by the same old never shamed frauds like Cliff May, who must be passing Bachmann large print cards to read it from. The mass bombings, including the dropping of nuclear bombs is not something to excuse or glorify, but neither is it an excuse to torture. Besides, if waterboarding is suddenly fine and awesome why did this happen:

…in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.

“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,”

And he wasn’t the only one.

Who was President in 1947 anyway?

UPDATE:  In unrelated…but somehow related news for the tenor of the times…Bloomberg has had ENOUGH of this whole First Amendment thing.