Boehner accidentally tells the truth

BOEHNER ACCIDENTALLY TELLS THE TRUTH…. Once in a great while, the House Minority Leader strays from the script. It’s safe to assume he’d like to take this one back.

While cable news outlets and major newspapers continue to use euphemisms such as “harsh interrogation tactics” to describe the Bush administration’s approach to intelligence gathering, House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) used a more succinct term Thursday: “torture.”

“Last week, they released these memos outlining torture techniques. That was clearly a political decision and ignored the advice of their Director of National Intelligence and their CIA director,” Boehner said at a press conference in the Capitol.

The techniques discussed include waterboarding, slamming detainees into walls, and depriving them of sleep for up to 11 days.

The problem, of course, is that Boehner accidentally told the truth. The memos did point to “torture techniques.”

He’s just not supposed to think so.

Later, in the same press conference, Boehner said the very discussion of torture is “inappropriate,” because it could “denigrate” the United States. (More than the torture itself?) Reporters pressed the Minority Leader on why Americans shouldn’t know what’s being done in their name.

Boehner paused. “Let me take a deep breath here,” he said. “We’re talking about terrorists who are hell bent on killing Americans. All right?”

“Alleged terrorists,” noted the reporter.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.