Schumer on torture 2004: 'Do what you have to do'

New audio unearthed of Sen. Chuck Schumer's (D-N.Y.) comments at a 2004 Senate Judiciary hearing is likely to cause to heartburn for the New York Democrat.

The comments show Schumer was much more willing to tolerate torture than most Democrats are today.
And I'd like to interject a note of balance here. There are times when we all get in high dudgeon. We ought to be reasonable about this. I think there are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake.

Take the hypothetical: If we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say, Do what you have to do.

So it's easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you're in the foxhole, it's a very different deal.


Audio is below, sliced together with Schumer's recent statements on Maddow (courtesy of Ed Morrissey):

"If there are egregious violations of law, they should be prosecuted....The most logical, best place to start is the Justice Department...If they won't do it, someone else is going to have to do it."