Sen. Ball: 'I'd be first in line' to torture bombing suspect

Posted at: 04/22/2013 11:44 PM
Updated at: 04/23/2013 12:43 PM
By: Dan Levy

ALBANY - Would it be okay to torture Dzhokhar Tsarnaev to get information? One New York State senator has immersed himself in controversy by saying he'd be "the first in line" to conduct the torture.

Sen. Greg Ball, R-Lower Hudson Valley, not only continues to defend his position on torture, he also continues to suggest those people who disagree with him need to check their own conscience.

After the marathon bombing suspect was captured Friday, Ball tweeted:

He then proceeded to double down his comments speaking with Fox News.

"I think a lot of politicians typically, quite honestly, are full of crap," Ball told Fox News during a live interview Monday morning. "They're scared to say how they feel. I basically said what I believe a lot of red-blooded Americans felt."

"That kind of rhetoric is really unfortunate and I think a little offensive," said Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany. "Those kinds of comments I think really do help escalate issues, just as we've seen with some of the gun issues. I think we need to tone down the rhetoric."

"When you talk about terrorism," Ball continued. "Information matters and if getting that information, including torture, would save one innocent life, including children, we should use torture. And I can tell you that I would be first in line."

Many messages on Ball's Facebook page agree with his position. Among the comments: "I'm 1000% in agreement, Greg Ball for President, and he gets it and admits it, finally an honest politician."

But there were also opponents. Among those comments: "You're a pretty sickening human being, you're an idiot, and you're a complete moron."

Cohoes Assemblyman John McDonald, D-Cohoes, reiterates Ball's comments are his and his alone. McDonald says he's dead set against torture, one of the many reasons is that he just doesn't think it works.

"Whose to say when this person is being tortured that they don't just start making up information that sends our intelligence community on a wild goose chase?" McDonald suggests.

Tsarnaev was officially charged Monday with using a weapon of mass destruction to kill. If convicted he could face the death penalty.