WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. intelligence chief Mike McConnell said in a magazine interview that waterboarding would be torture if it was used against him personally, but stopped short of condemning the controversial interrogation technique.
McConnell, Director of National Intelligence, was quoted in the New Yorker edition released on Sunday as defining torture as "something that would cause excruciating pain."
Asked if waterboarding -- the practice of covering a person's face with a cloth and then dripping water on it to bring on a feeling of drowning -- fit that definition, McConnell said that for him personally, it would.
"If I had water draining into my nose, oh God, I just can't imagine how painful!" McConnell said in the article. "Whether it's torture by anybody else's definition, for me it would be torture."
But he rejected a suggestion that he personally condemned the practice.