Coulter to Caldara: "I'm for torture"

››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF

On The Jon Caldara Show, Ann Coulter declared, "I'm for torture," telling listeners that "[w]e need a referendum in America on whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9-11 ... should be tortured." She then added, "I think he should be given waterboarding on days that he's good."

On the September 20 broadcast of Newsradio 850 KOA's The Jon Caldara Show, right-wing pundit and frequent guest Ann Coulter declared, "I'm for torture," telling listeners that "[w]e need a referendum in America on whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9-11 ... should be tortured." She then added, "I think he should be given waterboarding on days that he's good." Coulter also said, "I think Americans would agree with me." Caldara responded, "I think you might have a point."

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the mastermind behind the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. He was indicted in the United States in 1996 for his involvement in the extensive Philippines-based Bojinka plot, which included plans to assassinate Pope John Paul II and President Bill Clinton, blow up several international commercial airliners, and fly planes into U.S. buildings. As one of al-Qaeda's top operatives, he is also alleged to have slit the throat of kidnapped U.S. journalist Daniel Pearl and to have partially financed the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. He remained at large until he was captured in Pakistan in 2003, and is currently detained at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

As Media Matters for America has noted, ABC News reported that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was subjected to the waterboarding interrogation technique at Guantanamo Bay. On the November 18, 2005, broadcast of ABC's World News Tonight, chief investigative correspondent Brian Ross reported that "CIA officers say 9-11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed lasted the longest under waterboarding, two and a half minutes, before beginning to talk, with debatable results."

In a written report on its website discussing waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, ABC cited "Two experienced officers [who] told ABC that there is little to be gained by these techniques that could not be more effectively gained by a methodical, careful, psychologically based interrogation."

CALDARA: What's going to happen with so-called torture? I hate it when we use their terminology on this one. McCain wins when we use --

COULTER: I'm for torture. I want a referendum. That's really the problem. We need a referendum in America on whether Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of 9-11, the guy behind the videotaped beheading of Daniel Pearl, the one who masterminded the Bojinka plot which would have killed twice as many people that died in 9-11 but fortunately was averted, the man behind the Bali bombing, I want a referendum among Americans on whether or not he should be tortured. I think he should be given waterboarding on days that he's good.

CALDARA: 303-713-8585.

COULTER: And I think Americans would agree with me.

CALDARA: I think you might have a point. Ann, it's late where you are. I want you to go to sleep. Go. Go. Unless you want to talk a little bit longer. I got to go take a break.

COULTER: Oh, you're taking a break. OK, I'll go to sleep in Bermuda.

CALDARA: It goes fast. I know this. I know this one.

COULTER: I'll go to sleep in Bermuda.

CALDARA: Have a good time. You are such a tease. I sit here; I wait all night. Like --

COULTER: And here I am.

CALDARA: I'm like the teenager who waits by the phone: "Is she gonna call? Is she gonna ..." It hurts.

COULTER: And I did.

CALDARA: "And I did." Now you're off to your other men. Go. Have fun. Ann Coulter.

COULTER: OK. Bye, Jon. Talk to you next week.

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