Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Water Boarding

I normally avoid political subjects, but this one takes the cake. Water boarding is an interrogation technique that is described this way by ABC News:

"The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

"According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in. They said al Qaeda's toughest prisoner, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, won the admiration of interrogators when he was able to last between two and two-and-a-half minutes before begging to confess."

How in the flaming heck can anyone suggest that this is not torture? I have read that numerous government officials deny that this procedure constitutes torture and it makes my gag reflex kick in. If there is one thing we as a country should not condone, it is this.
I think anyone who publicly says that this technique is not torture should voluntarily subject themselves to it immediately.

1 comment:

Lowell said...

The whole Mucasey confirmation thing is just a fiasco-- and primarily related to this issue. Clearly given his marching orders from the Bush Administration, he refused to define waterboarding as torture or to define torture at all.

This is despite the fact that the United States has historically prosecuted those who waterboarded prisoners as war criminals. That specific act is a war crime.

But they don't want to get caught up in the details. But look, they have a view of the Executive as possessing absolute power and the ability to override any and all laws. Why not just define this as torture and then just have Bush ignore that as he's done with other such laws?

I mean if they truly believe he has the legal right to do this then they should have no problem just acknowledging the basic illegality of the act. What all of this demonstrates is the basic hypocrisy of this administration and its agents. They want all the possible weasel defenses rather than having a central principle the stand by-- because they know that central principle of an Absolute Executive is unconstitutional and UnAmerican.