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Democratic Senator On Torture Report: We Emulated The Chinese Communists

"That's where waterboarding comes from."

Posted on December 11, 2014, at 1:29 p.m. ET

Democratic Sen. Carl Levin says the Senate Intelligence Committee 525-page report on CIA interrogation and detention activities shows the United States emulated behavior of Chinese communists.

"We cannot engage in the kind of conduct which the Chinese communists engaged in in order to extract confessions, true or not, during the Korean war," Levin said on WSCR-AM radio Thursday. "That's where waterboarding comes from. And we can't emulate that kind of a conduct — not just for the moral reasons, although they're important — but because, again, we endanger our troops in situations where they're detained, or captured."

The retiring Michigan senator said such conduct puts our own troops in danger when they are captured.

"You can talk to our military leaders, talk to guys like General Petraeus, who will tell you that if we use torture — and that's what waterboarding is — we are risking our own troops," said Levin. "And we don't want to do that, because when our troops are captured we will go in, and if they're being tortured we will hold the torturers accountable in international crime courts."

As is noted in the report, after Levin became Chairman of the Armed Services Committee in January 2007, he set up an investigation that looked into the origins of detainee abuses. One area of focus of the investigation regarded how the military's Survival Evasion Resistance and Escape (SERE) training influenced our own interrogation procedures.

"SERE training is intended to be used to teach our soldiers how to resist interrogation by enemies that refuse to follow the Geneva Conventions and international law," a Levin press release notes. "In SERE school, our troops who are at risk of capture are exposed – in a controlled environment with great protections and caution – to techniques adapted from abusive tactics used against American soldiers by enemies such as the Communist Chinese during the Korean War."