Former Rep. Joe Walsh calls CIA agents who tortured terror suspects 'American heroes'
By RYAN GORMAN
Former Congressman Joe Walsh called the CIA agents accused of brutally torturing terror suspects "American heroes" during a Wednesday television interview.
Walsh made the incendiary comments to CNN only one day after the Senate released the CIA torture report. He also refuted the impassioned remarks made by Senator John McCain (R-AZ) -- himself a former prisoner of war.
"I'm glad they put the report out," he explained. "I'm glad though because I don't think we should be ashamed of what we put out. Again, we're fighting an evil enemy.
"There are times when we need to get our hands dirty when we fight that enemy."
CNN host Carol Costello immediately countered Walsh's comments, asking: "Is an American hero someone who is instructed by our government to conduct rectal forced feedings on a prisoner?
"Or chain someone naked to a concrete floor until he dies?" She continued. "Or nearly drown them two to three times a day? Is that the definition of an American hero?"
"It may, Carol, be part of the job description," Walsh insisted.
The anchor gasped in horror.
"Absolutely!" Walsh countered. "We forget as Americans who we are dealing with. Got to be frank, we're dealing with animals.
"We're dealing with groups of people who behead, blow up, exterminate people."
Costello held her ground, asking if Americans should be animals.
"The way you defeat an animal, Carol, oftentimes is to act like one," said Walsh.
Walsh also attempted to argue he knew more about the results of torture than Senator McCain, a Vietnam War veteran who spent years in North Vietnamese custody as a prisoner of war.
The former Republican Representative from Illinois argued that there were positive gains to be had from torture despite McCain saying otherwise.
Reaction on Twitter ranged from shock, to anger and even disappointment. Multiple people called for Walsh to undergo the same treatment to see if his opinion changes.
The Senate report also found that no attacks were averted and no actionable intelligence was gleaned from the "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Those tactics included forced rectal feeding, waterboarding, sleep deprivation, beatings and even resulted in the death of at least one prisoner -- who died of hypothermia after being chained half-naked to a concrete floor.
Walsh's tenure in the House lasted only two years. He now hosts a nationally syndicated conservative-leaning radio talk show.
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