Thursday, July 3, 2008

Waterboarding Is Torture

Vanity Fair
reporter Christopher Hitchens found out what it was like to be "aggessively interrogated." The headline says it all, "Believe Me, It's Torture."

How sad that John McCain, a man who was tortured as a POW in Vietnam, chose to cave to George Bush by not wanting to appear to be soft on terror, and instead flipflopped against his previous anti-torture statements and voted against making torture, waterboarding, and sexual humiliation of prisoners illegal.

From Vanity Fair:

Here is the most chilling way I can find of stating the matter. Until recently, “waterboarding” was something that Americans did to other Americans. It was inflicted, and endured, by those members of the Special Forces who underwent the advanced form of training known as sere (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape). In these harsh exercises, brave men and women were introduced to the sorts of barbarism that they might expect to meet at the hands of a lawless foe who disregarded the Geneva Conventions. But it was something that Americans were being trained to resist, not to inflict.

Exploring this narrow but deep distinction, on a gorgeous day last May I found myself deep in the hill country of western North Carolina, preparing to be surprised by a team of extremely hardened veterans who had confronted their country’s enemies in highly arduous terrain all over the world. They knew about everything from unarmed combat to enhanced interrogation and, in exchange for anonymity, were going to show me as nearly as possible what real waterboarding might be like.
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Here is the video of Hitchens being waterboarded.

Back in February, Navy veteran Richard Mezo wrote in the Washington Post about his own experience being waterboarded:
Last week, much to my dismay, government officials testified before Congress that the United States has used the interrogation technique known as waterboarding and would like to hold out the option of using it in the future. As someone who has experienced waterboarding, albeit in a controlled setting, I know that the act is indeed torture. I was waterboarded during my training to become a Navy flight crew member. As has been noted in The Post and other media outlets, waterboarding is "real drowning that simulates death." It's an experience our country should not subject people to.
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