In discussing the recent torture memos on Friday, Congressman Charlie RangelCharles (Charlie) Bernard RangelDem leaders avert censure vote against Steve King House Democrats offer measures to censure Steve King Democrats enter brave new world with House majority in Trump era MORE (D-N.Y.) placed the blame on superior officers that created an atmosphere where abuse could occur.

"What I have to say may be extremely controversial," Rangel said on MSNBC. "There is something that happens to the human mind in a situation where this type of thing is allowed by superior officers. I don't mean to condone what these young eople have done but I do hope that any investigation would realize that they never would have done it if an atmosphere was not set up for superior officers for them to do it. You lose a whole lot of judgement and morality when you're trained to kill people."

The lawmaker, who was awarded a Purple Heart after his service in the Korean War, somewhat sidestepped a question about whether there should be an investigation into the information in the torture memos - one of the hottest political issues in the Democratic Party right now.

"It depends on who you are talking about," he said when asked if investigations are appropriate.

Some on the left currently want Bush administration officials to be investigated for their role in drafting policies that the left says led abuses chronicled in the torture memos. Some in the Democratic Party, including President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), oppose a congressional investigation.

Rangel said emphatically that the United States must take an anti-torture position.

"It goes to what do americans believe in...not only is this torture not effective, but from a military point of view you have lowered the standards so if you get captured and your people get captured, what do you expect?"

jeremy.jacobs@thehill.com