In the confirmation hearings for Attorney General-designate Alberto Gonzales, Senator Edward M. Kennedy lashed out Gonzales for reportedly having failed to object to the idea of threatening to drown terrorists.
"I'd never do that to anybody," Kennedy said, prompting observers to recall the senator's Chappaquiddick incident that left a young woman dead in the back seat of his submerged Lincoln.
The following is excerpted from the January 6, 2005 New York Times,
with emphasis added:
KENNEDY: ...Now, the [Washington] Post
article states you chaired several meetings at which various interrogation techniques were discussed. These techniques included the threat of live burial and waterboarding, whereby the detainee is strapped to a board, forcibly pushed under water, wrapped in a wet towel and made to believe he might drown
KENNEDY: Could you just -- I want to point out, if it's true, as the Post
reported, that you held several meetings at which the legality of interrogation techniques, such as threat of live burial and water boarding were discussed. Do you remember that?...
KENNEDY: Well, just as an attorney, as a human being, I would have thought that if there were recommendations that were so blatantly and flagrantly over the line in terms of torture, that you might have recognized them. I mean, it certainly appears to me that water boarding, with all its descriptions about drowning someone to that kind of a point, would come awfully close to getting over the border,
and that you'd be able to at least say today, There were some that were recommended or suggested on that, but I certainly wouldn't have had a part of that, as a human being.
But as I understand you are saying now that no matter what they recommended or what they discussed, there was not going to be anything in there that was going to be too bad or too outrageous for you to at least to raise some objection.