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At last night’s republican presidential debate:

November 13, 2011 9:35 AM

Republicans return to the torture ‘debate’

By Steve Benen

….Co-moderator Major Garrett read an email from a veteran of the Vietnam War who believes “torture if always wrong in all cases,” and asked if the candidates agree. The question was first directed to Herman Cain, who said he’d do whatever military leaders said they wanted to do. Garrett pressed further, specifically noting the argument over waterboarding. Cain replied:

“I agree that it was an enhanced interrogation technique…. Yes, I would return to that policy. I don’t see it as torture. I see it as an enhanced interrogation technique.”

This generated applause from the South Carolina audience….

[emphasis added]

From Show Me Progress, A Small Clique Of Legal Extremists… (February 24, 2008):

….Meanwhile, the Army thought that it needed to emphasize that “waterboarding” people is not a good idea:

U.S. Department of Defense

Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense
(Public Affairs)

Presenter: Pentagon Press Secretary Geoff Morrell November 14, 2007

…Q  The alert that went out reminding military personnel about the military ban on waterboarding — was that in response to any specific event or specific comments by military personnel that made you think you needed it? I mean, most notably, General Honore’s comments about waterboarding from last week — was this a response to those comments?

MR. MORRELL: Yeah, I think that went through — I think that was an Army mandate, if I’m not mistaken. But I do not know what precipitated them or prompted them to choose to remind their personnel of the fact that waterboarding is a practice that is forbidden under the Army Field Manual. But I think it is — I wouldn’t read anything into it, but I think it’s always worthwhile to remind our men and women in uniform — and all those who work for us, for that matter — what the rules are and what they aren’t. And the rules forbid such practices throughout the U.S. military…

[emphasis added]

The 1992 Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation [pdf] provides for “two tests”:

If you think that someone who you act upon believes it’s a violation of their rights, or if you believe that the act, when applied to an American prisoner, would violate their rights, then don’t cross that line….

And the South Carolina republican debate audience applauded torture.

“…the rules forbid such practices throughout the U.S. military…”