Cochran primary foe calls waterboarding 'fairly humane'

Sen. Thad Cochran’s (R-Miss.) primary challenger suggested hip-hop causes an increase in gun violence and characterized waterboarding as a “fairly humane form of torture” during his time as a conservative radio talk show host.

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State Sen. Chris McDaniel, who’s launched a conservative challenge against the senator, made the comments during his time hosting a syndicated radio show from 2004 to 2007. They were first reported on local political blog Dark Horse Mississippi.

"The reason Canada is breaking out with brand new gun violence has nothing to do with the United States and guns," McDaniel said. "It has everything to do with a culture that is morally bankrupt. What kind of culture is that? It's called hip-hop."

He went on to clarify that his critique of hip-hop was not race-based, but rather focused on the culture hip-hop promotes.

"And it's not — before you get carried away — this has nothing to do with race. Because there are just as many hip-hopping white kids and Asian kids as there are hip-hopping black kids. It’s a problem of a culture that values prison more than college; a culture that values rap and destruction of community values more than it does poetry; a culture that can’t stand education. It’s that culture that can’t get control of itself,” he said.

In the same clip, McDaniel dismisses waterboarding and suggests that, as a device to get terrorist Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who was captured and tortured by U.S. officials at Guantanamo Bay, to talk, it “worked.”

"Waterboarding is something they do to people to make them talk. It is torture, to the liberals. It is a fairly humane form of torture, if you classify it as such," McDaniel said.

"Here's what happens: You make the guy believe he's going to drown. And as you know it's a pretty strong fear—drowning. Well this guy, Mohammed, he spoke all day. He spoke all night. Anything and everything, just let me avoid the waterboard. Because you see Mr. Mohammed here apparently had a problem with a fear of drowning. And that worked."

McDaniel's campaign did not respond to a request for comment.