Below is the link to a very fascinating article written by everyone’s favorite dumpy Brit, Christopher Hitchens. He chronicles his experience with being waterboarded. Voluntarily, of course.
Article (with link to video)
We may complain about Hitchens and his attitude sometimes but he went under a bucket of water to show everyone else what it is like to be tortured. And that’s his conclusion at the end of the process: it is indeed torture.
Do yourself a favor, read the article and watch the video. And then try and tell yourself that waterboarding isn’t torture. I’ve always felt that is was. The basic idea is to convince the prinsoner that he or she is drowning. And, to a certain extent, he or she is. There is only one difference between feeling like drowning and actually drowning, and that is death. So waterboarding is killing someone, in a sense. I know that’s a weak argument and there are many people who shrug it off with responses like “We’re protectin’ America” and “They would do worse to us!” Exactly. They would do worse. And, forgive me for being so naive, but I assumed we were better than the terrorists. That’s what I’m continually told. But if we waterboard — I mean torture — to get what we want then we are lowering ourselves to the same level as them.
These are all arguments that I’m sure you Chewers have heard before. You’re a smart bunch and probably agreed with me in the first place. I just get a little heat in me sometimes when reading about this nonsense. Torturing is perhaps one of the worst things a country can do to defend itself. John McCain can tell you that. Well, John McCain of 2004 can tell you that. John McCain of 2008 would say that anything is necessary for defending the homeland. Bah.
And then there’s that other risk, one that is just as bad as dirtying America’s reputation (at a time when we should be trying to clean it). What if we kidnap and interogate the wrong person? It’s the same reason I’m opposed to the death penalty. Getting it wrong once is something you can’t take back.
I’m interested to see if torture is a way of life in American defense now or if it is just another part of the Bush administration. I sure hope it exits with Mr. Bush. It makes me sick just thinking about it.
Kudos, Mr. Hitchens.