Too much ado about torture?

Our panties are in a twist over a mere “torture flap?”
“This debate seems a little silly given the threat we face?”
These GIs in Vietnam were drummed out of the service for this waterboarding caught on camera.
This is waterboarding. It’s confusing I know, no board, no restraints, no bathtub, no dunking chair, etc. Just a rag and water to simulate drowning. To induce drowning actually, by forcing the subject to inhale water into the lungs. Plus ca change, MAIS plus ce N’est PAS la meme chose: these GIs were courtmartialed for getting caught on camera using water torture, on this captured Vietcong.

Red faced provocateur John Gibson had this to say on his Fox News show, about what he called “the torture flap:”

One: The entire torture flap involves three people who were subjected to harsh interrogation techniques for a grand total of less than three minutes. Call it torture if you want, but it was quick and there were darn few people subjected to it.

Two: Each procedure from slapping to waterboarding was specifically approved by Washington, and those people applying these techniques were restrained from approaching anything any sane person might consider too far or too much.

Third: Many of the people who are screaming bloody murder about it now and wanting investigations were advised what was happening and either approved or acquiesced.

Got that? You know it is happening, you understand what it is, YOU are being held accountable. Gibson can fall back and say you “acquiesced” to his preposterous rationalization.

“Waterboarding” has been considered “torture” for 500 years. There’s no “flap” about torture. The dictionary doesn’t define “torture” as ambiguously acceptable. Being made to tolerate a chilled room without a blanket is torture. TRY IT. Or do you fall in Gibson’s category of “any sane person” who would reject such restrictions on our interrogation methods as “too much?”

Here’s how a French journalist described his waterboarding in Algeria:

The rag was soaked rapidly. Water flowed everywhere: in my mouth, in my nose, all over my face. But for a while I could still breathe in some small gulps of air. I tried, by contracting my throat, to take in as little water as possible and to resist suffocation by keeping air in my lungs for as long as I could. But I couldn’t hold on for more than a few moments. I had the impression of drowning, and a terrible agony, that of death itself, took possession of me. In spite of myself, all the muscles of my body struggled uselessly to save me from suffocation. In spite of myself, the fingers of both my hands shook uncontrollably. “That’s it! He’s going to talk,” said a voice.

The water stopped running and they took away the rag. I was able to breathe. In the gloom, I saw the lieutenants and the captain, who, with a cigarette between his lips, was hitting my stomach with his fist to make me throw out the water I had swallowed.

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Eric Verlo

About Eric Verlo

On sabbatical
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