Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Believe me....it's torture."

I've known about Christopher Hitchens' Vanity Fair article where he changed his tune regarding whether or not waterboarding constitutes torture; but I hadn't realized there's also a video that shows the session he had.



He lasts for only about 5 or 6 "drips/applications" (the claim that KSM was waterboarded 183 is misleading, as the actual number of sessions was 5- which is also KSM's claim; "183" represents the number of times water was poured; if I'm mistaken on this, please let me know).

I wouldn't be quick to pass judgment on Hitchens as a wimp, either; not unless you've personally experienced the same, yourself.

Regardless of whether it's applied to our own soldiers in SERE training to develop coping mechanisms to resist, or whether it's being inflicted on enemy combatants to go beyond their breaking points....can we concede that waterboarding is in fact "torture"?

After all, I classify such things as tickling and most hip hop music as torture, so why not waterboarding?

Cross-posted and re-edited at Flopping Aces

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8 Comments:

Blogger Gayle said...

Okay,Wordsmith, I'll go so far as to say Waterboarding is "temporary torture." It doesn't inflict permanent damage but a terrorist being waterboarded doesn't know that. Still, if we had a suspect in custody and we knew he had valuable information that would save people's lives I would happily inflict this temporary torture on him and I wouldn't feel guilty about it. I'd also bet money that the people who say waterboarding shouldn't ever be used would change their tune really fast if they new waterboarding would save their family.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 2:33:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

I certainly don't have qualms over it, regardless of how it's defined.

but a terrorist being waterboarded doesn't know that.They do now. We haven't used this since 2005 and now it's announcement to our enemies about how far and how far we aren't willing to go makes it all rather moot. (Note al Qaeda reads the Army field manual on counterinsurgency).

Go over to my FA cross-post for a livelier, albiet one-sided, thread.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 3:17:00 PM  
Blogger Skye said...

You are not alone with this opinion, Word

Kevin Ferris, assistant editor of the Philadelphia Inquirer has this to say on the subject:

The phrase acts as a reality check, forcing one's thoughts back to the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, and the mass murder of almost 3,000 people: The innocents who had their throats slit by hijackers. The men and women who burned to death. Those who plunged to their deaths from the World Trade Center to escape the inferno.

That was a shock to my conscience.

I compare that with KSM's being subjected to harsh interrogation techniques, including reportedly being waterboarded 183 times - roughly one session for every 16 victims of 9/11.

Sorry, but I cannot work my conscience into being shocked for him, even though I suspect such a judgment will result in some form of eternal damnation.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 4:30:00 PM  
Blogger The Griper said...

i also think we must keep saparate the use of torture as a means to obtain a confession to a crime for use in a trial and the use of it to obtain military information.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:54:00 PM  
Blogger The WordSmith from Nantucket said...

Absolutely. It seems some in the FBI can't make the distinction.

Sunday, April 26, 2009 10:58:00 PM  
Blogger J_G said...

They can call it whatever they want, torture, enhanced interrogation or a day in the park. The method was used successfully to gain information to stop terrorist attacks and now our enemies know how to train to defeat such methods.

Time to come up with something new. Maybe sitting prisoners down in front of a TV and having them watch Obama talk without his telepromter. That would make anyone give up the goods just so it will stop. Uh, um, Uh

As far as Hitchens goes, I don't have the time of day for him. I wrote something else first but it wasn't nice so I deleted it.

Monday, April 27, 2009 12:31:00 AM  
Blogger Bloviating Zeppelin said...

I'm not yet willing to go there, and here is the distinction that I make. And perhaps I'm just semantically challenged. But I envision torture as that which causes physical pain plus lasting physical effects. Waterboarding is just that: a sense of impending doom and demise but temporary. On the other hand, yes, there we go, providing info such that it becomes moot in terms of preparing persons to encounter it. What's next in the tool kit? Maybe we could tickle people until they cry.

BZ

Monday, April 27, 2009 10:17:00 AM  
Blogger Left Coast Rebel said...

Jg - you said ''They can call it whatever they want, torture, enhanced interrogation or a day in the park. The method was used successfully to gain information to stop terrorist attacks and now our enemies know how to train to defeat such methods.''

And why do our enemies know this? Moveon.Org, Obama, and Soros.

Monday, April 27, 2009 2:56:00 PM  

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