09 February 2008

I Know Waterboarding Is Torture--Because I Did It Myself

Malcolm Nance speaks:
Waterboarding is slow-motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of blackout and expiration. Usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch. If it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia - meaning, the loss of all oxygen to the cells.

The lack of physical scarring allows the victim to recover and be threatened with its use again and again. Call it "Chinese water torture," "the barrel," or "the waterfall." It is all the same.

One has to overcome basic human decency to endure causing the effects. The brutality would force you into a personal moral dilemma between humanity and hatred. It would leave you questioning the meaning of what it is to be an American.
Elsewhere he asks:
Is it possible that September 11 hurt us so much that we have decided to gladly adopt the tools of KGB, the Khmer Rouge, the Nazi Gestapo, the North Vietnamese, the North Koreans and the Burmese Junta?
Waterboarding has been used by:

--Japanese trrops (Kempeitai) during World War II;
--The Gestapo
--The Viet Cong
--The Khmer Rouge

On December 10, 2007, John Kiriakou, a former CIA officer, became the first official in the U.S. government to admit that waterboarding is a technique that was used against three Al Qaeda suspects. Some, like Andrew McCarthy over at National Review, writes off any criticism thus:
Is this issue really worth scandalizing ourselves over?

Is it really worth intimidating our intelligence officers with the fear of prosecution and consuming days upon days of the legislative calendar (including confirmation hearings) over waterboarding?
Um, most decent Americans would say yes. Senator McCain, a victim of waterboarding by the Viet Cong, says it is beneath our values as American citizens. And in a masterful stroke of equivalence, McCarthy minimizes the seriousness of the crime by claiming there was only "one waterboarding of a complicit terrorist for every thousand innocent people killed on 9/11". Of course! When you put it in that light and invoke our vengeance reflex...