As Think Progress notes, the ‘argument’ here is that because the US military applied techniques such as waterboarding on US military personnel during SERE training that therefore these techniques cannot be torture.
Of course, as we now know, these SERE training programs were developed using the models derived from torture techniques that had been used (for example, by the Chinese in Korea). Not to mention the historical fact that Japanese personnel who had waterboarded during WW2 had been executed by the Americans for the crime of torture.
Further, as Think Progress details:
As Media Matters noted when Fox News’ Jim Angle pushed the same argument, the Bush Justice Department acknowledged in one of the torture memos that waterboarding detainees is “a very different situation” from what went on in SERE training:
Individuals undergoing SERE training are obviously in a very different situation from detainees undergoing interrogation; SERE trainees know it is part of a training program, not a real-life interrogation regime, they presumably know it will last only a short time, and they presumably have assurances that they will not be significantly harmed by the training.
A person no nicer than her father.