WASHINGTON : Former Alaska Governor and 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin defended the controversial enhanced interrogation technique of waterboarding this weekend, and implied that it would be oractised against terrorists “if I were in charge.”

“They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,” Ms. Pain, an ultra conservative, said at the annual meeting of the National Rifle Association (NRA), a powerful group, in Indianapolis, Indiania, referring to prisoners, according to US media reports. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

The remark stands in stark contrast to the opinion of her former running mate, Republican Senator John McCain, who lost the presential bid to Barack Obama.

 McCain, who spent more than five years in a prison camp during the Vietnam War, has repeatedly denounced the practice, which he says is torture.

In Pakistan, Palin became well known after former President Asif Ali Zardari called the vice presidential candidate “gorgeous” during their interaction at the United Nations in September 2008, and went on to remark: “Now I know

why the whole of America is crazy about you. When Zardari’s aide told the two politicians to keep shaking hands for the cameras, Zardari remarked: “If he’s insisting, I might hug.”)

In her speech, Palin praised the NRA, a group whose members “are needed now more than ever, because every day we are seeing more and more efforts to strip away our Second Amendment rights (individuals’ right to keep and bear arms),” she said. Gun control advocates in America are demanding steps to regular the sale of arms.

“See, our patience is running thin. It’s being teased and tempted by some intellectual elite in some far distant capital wanting us to abandon even the ideas of the American revolution,” she added.

To fight back, she told attendees at the conference in Indianapolis to come out in force in November, obviously for the elections.

“Do you know why those clownish little Kumbaya-humming fairytale-inhaling liberals want to be tough all of a sudden and control your guns?” she said. “It’s ‘cuz guys like [Sen.] Al Franken [D-Minn.] and [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid [D-Nev.], they are not satisfied with just taking your money and your job, your truck and your property and your rights, your healthcare – they didn’t want to just stop at that.”

She took aim at Attorney General Eric Holder’s recent remarks offering to explore how “guns can be made more safe, by making them either through fingerprint identification [or] the gun talks to a bracelet or something that you might wear.”

The comments lit a fire among gun rights advocates, who feared that the effort could be part of an effort to track or control gun owners.

Palin went down the list of bracelets she wears to commemorate fallen soldiers and milestones in America’s past, and struck back against the attorney general.“You can have these bracelets when you pry them past my cold, dead hands,” she said.