Sunday, October 28, 2007

Waterboarding is Torture… Period

Waterboarding is a torture technique. Period. There is no way to gloss over it or sugarcoat it. It has no justification outside of its limited role as a training demonstrator. Our service members have to learn that the will to survive requires them accept and understand that they may be subjected to torture, but that America is better than its enemies and it is one's duty to trust in your nation and God, endure the hardships and return home with honor.

Read the rest at Small Wars Journal.

Nothing follows.

36 Comments:

Blogger Wadeusaf said...

The scenario often accompanying arguments in favor of "aggressive interrogation", would tend to favor in this conflict the use of such techniques, if we had the time to sift through all of the other stuff in addition to the truths the subject of such methods were to spill in an effort to end the experience.

I have no doubt that the use or disdain of such methods would not matter one iota in the treatment afforded our soldiers by this enemy we currently face in Iraq and elsewhere. Theirs is an illness, an addiction perhaps to inflicting pain and abnormal suffering on every thing and everyone they can. There is to my knowledge only one cure for it.

I do fear that those we would assign to carry out such methods would view themselves as no better than the above described enemy or be so hounded by the experience as to lose all confidence of self control, faith in their fellows, and trust in us. I fear more that such a journey would sorely affect the men ordered to carry out the act, than the act itself.

Here I think we need to be sure that actions taken are necessary and redeemable of a far greater number of lives than what is lost. I would approach the decision to use such behavior with the same weight given to dropping the atomic bomb. It is not a thing to be proud of, but at times certain it is a thing that just needs to be done.

If I were the one who had to make such judgment, I do know that it would weigh more heavily than anything I have yet encountered. If I were the one to carry out the deed, it would haunt me to the grave. There is no easy answer.

10/29/2007 02:26:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

For our policy makers this discussion is impossible to conduct, much less resolve, in the public square. No matter the objectivity of the advocate going into the discussion the argument quickly turns into a litany of the worst possible transgressions or a generalization to absurdity.

"A torture victim can be made to say anything by an evil nation that does not abide by humanity, morality, treaties or rule of law. Today we are on the verge of becoming that nation" says the author of the Small Wars Journal article. Every discussion of this issue I have ever seen proceeds directly without fail to this same absurdity.

Even worse any individual arguing in favor of some kind of coercive interrogation is publicly cast into the ninth circle of hell as an irredeemable sadist. The MSM gleefully participates in the exorcism and the advocate is branded for life if not generations with a big "S" on his forehead. Who the heck is going to argue for the advantages of coercive interrogation?

The argument that torture does not work because the victim will tell you anything you want to hear is itself an absurdity. Is not that the intent of the interrogation in the first place?

The one thing I am sure about is that the interrogation manual should not be a public document.

10/29/2007 04:52:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

Wretchard,

Thank you very much for this post.

10/29/2007 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger raymondshaw said...

You can light them up with napalm, but you can't put a towel over their face and pour water on them.

Makes sense to me.

10/29/2007 06:24:00 AM  
Blogger Pangloss said...

The underlying problem is much more complicated than whether waterboarding is torture or not.

First, the enemy against whom we are set doesn't stop at mere torture. They go straight on to torture for the ages, like cutting off heads with a dull knife then pouring boiling oil into the exposed neck to watch the body jerk and shake, or flaying all the skin from a victim then dismembering him and putting the remains into a sack to be delivered back to his fellows. The Huron and Aztecs could have even learned from these guys. No amount of niceness will deter this enemy from torturing our soldiers in the most barbaric ways imaginable when they capture them.

Second, this enemy by acting so barbarically, by using human shields, by refusing to follow any of the (Geneva) laws of war including the wearing of a uniform has placed itself outside the law of war. The laws of war simply do not apply to them. They have NO rights to life or fair treatment or anything and should be treated as one would treat rabid dogs.

Third, torture works. Unfortunate but true.

Fourth, as Peter Boston points out this debate cannot ever be productive if held in public. I wrote something last night summarizing some of the reasons why.

10/29/2007 06:37:00 AM  
Blogger LarryD said...

If waterboarding is torture, then I am prepared to countenance torture.

And that's the problem with defining torture down.

Many of those who call waterboarding torture will go on call anything which might actually work, torture.

I reject their tactics. I support waterboarding, even it is called torture. I can live with being labeled a torturer. So be it.

10/29/2007 07:34:00 AM  
Blogger The Duck said...

For our policy makers this discussion is impossible to conduct, much less resolve, in the public square.

This is not a subject for mere policy makers, it is for the sovereign to decide. And the sovereign in our system is the people. A discussion about who we are and how we will conduct ourselves can only occur in the public square. That may not be convenient for one side or the other in the argument, but it is the way we have said we will do things. It may not be pretty, it may not be efficient, it may not even deliver the best answer. But it is our way. Abandoning it will only be one more way in which our system is corroded by this war.

The linked article is an extremely persuasive presentation of the author's position and a valuable contribution to a debate we sorely need to conduct.

10/29/2007 07:41:00 AM  
Blogger demosophist said...

My problem with Malcom's basic argument is that he seems to feel it's alright to use this technique as a training exercise on our own troops but that we're bound to eschew applying it to an enemy that's willing to kill thousands of us at a time. That is an absurdity. In fact, I'd suggest that whatever one calls the practice if we have people willing to volunteer to undergo its use then it's fair to use it on an enemy. In fact, that is the only consistent standard I can think of.

10/29/2007 08:18:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

This is not a subject for mere policy makers, it is for the sovereign to decide.

You make my point about generalizing to absurdity.

Field interrogation techniques are no more worthy of a national referendum than office dating policy.

If this topic says anything at all about "us" it is that some segment of the population is sissified and afraid of confronting nasty people.

10/29/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Dr. Scott said...

I am reminded of what happened to the word "racist" in my lifetime. Once it was a searing moral insult. Now it just means someone who disagrees with Jesse Jackson on any subject whatsoever. Well, who cares about that?

The word "torture" has lost its meaning. It is now applied to what would be considered bad fraternity initiations: seeing scary dogs, wearing panties on your head. If that is "torture", then we need a new word for the practices described in the recent AQ manual: the cleavers, the wire brush, the blowtorch, the eye scoops. What will the bien-pensants call such things?

They will call them nothing. They will say nothing about enemy atrocities. That would only distract people from their demands for (unattainable) moral perfection on our part.

Once I was opposed to torture. I haven't changed my mind. But there is now no word for the thing I oppose. I do not see how this is an advance.

10/29/2007 08:38:00 AM  
Blogger Marzouq the Redneck Muslim said...

Lowering ourselves to the standards of our enemies is counterproductive.

There have been many cases where humane treatment of captured enemy combatants produced excellent results.

10/29/2007 08:40:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

peterboston,

Why shouldn't we use waterboarding and other aggressive interrogations as regular means of interrogating all folk accused of committing a crime? There are loads of nasty folk right here at home.

10/29/2007 08:51:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

You often hear talk about the loss on a tactical level of choosing not to torture. What you never hear about is the gain on the strategic level of moral cohesion. In a Judeo-Christian society like the United States of America the loss at a strategic level of engaging in torture will never match the potential tactical gains.

10/29/2007 09:06:00 AM  
Blogger Fred said...

"I have no doubt that the use or disdain of such methods would not matter one iota in the treatment afforded our soldiers by this enemy we currently face in Iraq and elsewhere. Theirs is an illness, an addiction perhaps to inflicting pain and abnormal suffering on every thing and everyone they can. There is to my knowledge only one cure for it." - wadeusaf

You have to walk the inevitable tension between our ethical ideals and the exigencies of the situation. As a matter of course, torture is not a routine practice of the American military or the CIA. In fact, most of the aggressive interrogation techniques we use do not fit the classic definition of torture, the definition of which has been expanded by some people for politically expedient purposes. I think there is fairly strong support among the military and the civilian population for restraint from torture methods in all but the most dire circumstances.

However, the above quoted comment summarizes best my thoughts when I read the article cited here in this thread. We are dealing with the kind of enemy here that in no way we are in danger of becoming. The struggle against Islamic jihad is not a struggle for our souls. It is, rather, a struggle for the survival of our civilization and our liberties.

That author of the article expresses the view that if we exercise saintly restraint this enemy will come to his senses eventually. It was at that point in the article that I gagged at the naivete of the man, even if I do respect his service and some of his thoughts and sentiments.

This is why the West is in trouble. Most of us still have trouble understanding the political ideology of Islam, despite there being a fourteen hundred year history of jihad, inspired by and mandated by the very words of Allah and the example of the Prophet. The secular sophisticates of the West deign it a waste of time to become familiar with the Qur'an and ahadith, and so it filters down through and seeps into all aspects of our policy making culture and public debate about this conflict.

Refraining from all methods of aggressive interrogation (redefined as "torture" by the opponents of Bush and the sympathizers of jihadists)may help some to feel the supposed superiority of their moral rectitude. However, it will make no impression on the minds of the warriors of Allah, who see in it one more confirmation of how squeamish and weak we are and how ripe for the picking our civilization is.

10/29/2007 09:18:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

As I said - two times now - this topic is not eligible for rational discussion because people run immediately to the fringes and cite the most extreme case as the norm.

Neither my humanity nor my pride in America is diminished one iota by leaving the decisions about the most effective interrogation techniques to the agencies or institutions with the direct responsibility for conducting those interrogations.

Our jurisprudence has 200+ years of experience sorting out the limits of interrogation and individual rights in many different situations. Feel good hysteria contributes nothing.

10/29/2007 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger The Duck said...

If this topic says anything at all about "us" it is that some segment of the population is sissified and afraid of confronting nasty people.

You referring to me or Krulak?

10/29/2007 10:46:00 AM  
Blogger arizonavideo said...

If Islam is at war with us then why are we letting thousands immigrate into the US each year?

I do not care about the 2% of Muslims that might want jihad but the 98% that will do nothing to stop it. This is the problem. The real war has not started yet.

If schools were burning and teachers being killed each day for teaching girls and non believers heads roiling, then we would care allot more than we do now.

The jihad needs to do a lot more killing of Americans before we will start to call Islam what it is.

Islam is a civilization destroyer and we have chosen not to defend our civilization.

The only way to stop this is to push back the spread if Islam. This will take a little more than just waterboarding.

The question of what to do with .00001% of the jihad is silly.

For all those that want to remain on higher moral ground, during interrogation give the jihadest a rusty sward and let him do with it what his book says to do. Make sure you are there in person so you can learn.

Let me know how that works out.

10/29/2007 10:50:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

arizonavideo said...

For all those that want to remain on higher moral ground, during interrogation ....


Well, at least you are admitting how low we have stooped - how we have become like them. Do you really despise yourself that much?

10/29/2007 11:02:00 AM  
Blogger Tarnsman said...

Ummmm, there is a big difference! The jihadists torture (gouging out eyes, cutting off fingers, smashing bones, etc) for the "sport" of it. We "torture" (waterboarding, playing bad rock music loudly, not letting them sleep, etc) to gather information to find their torture houses.

10/29/2007 12:18:00 PM  
Blogger arizonavideo said...

To ASH
To kill is not the the best choice but sometimes the only one.

Were the bomber pilots in WWII morel?

If I had a choice between dropping 20 500 pounders on a city full of people of all types or waterboarding some jihadest the choice for me is easy. Jihadest.

There is no such thing as a morel war. There is good and evil.

"Well, at least you are admitting how low we have stooped - how we have become like them. Do you really despise yourself that much?"

To not fight evil is not "low" but cowardness.

Please name a war where you can win without cruley beyond description?

We are no like them, because they want to win and we want to do everything we can so we can loose.

The only protection should be given to those who display a uniform. The rest are just what they say they are,jihadest.

The only question that needs to be is "are you a jihadist?" If the answer is yes, then you need to ask yourself if you want to start winning the war or loose. To win there needs to be fare fewer jihadest.

10/29/2007 12:33:00 PM  
Blogger whiskey_199 said...

My question to Ash/Kevin is --

How many people in your family are you prepared to sacrifice so you may be morally superior?

What cities are you prepared to lose in order to have the moral high ground?

How many millions of dead Americans are alright with you to avoid charges of "torture?"

No one cares, bothers, or says the least word about the disembowelment, castration, drills through limbs, and gouging out of eyes by AQ to US troops and civilians. NO ONE CARES. It's accepted. Celebrated even ("screw em" said Kos).

So why should I care about some jihadi caught on the battlefield in civilian clothes? And why should I put the lives of my own countrymen LOWER than the tender feelings of AQ prisoners.

I can guarantee that WHEN not if we lose a lot of US citizens to another AQ attack, the questions will be, why didn't we extract the info. The answers will be, because we cared more about being morally superior than the lives of our people.

The reaction will be quite ugly Kevin/Ash. People who lose families will NOT CARE about your moral superiority. They will set about punishing you politically, and erasing all influence or restraint on any questioning of AQ prisoners.

You won't like it when the pendulum swings to pure survival and revenge. I'm sure we will do things quite horrible, far more so than mere waterboarding. Drugs, invasive brain surgery, and almost anything else to extract every last bit of info.

Your error is in thinking that the lack of attacks in the US will continue as if by magic. I can assure you there is no magic wand.

In the aftermath of such an attack and the complete failure of the political class obsessed with moral purity, vigilante action to "religiously cleanse" the US of Muslims will likely be seen as an act of pure survival.

10/29/2007 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Fred said...

Everyone assigns "weights" in moral arguments. We take stock of what the issues, conflicts, values, contradictions, etc. are. Based upon our life experiences, education, psychological makeup, religious convictions, and a whole host of other inputs we decide, consciously or not, what is "inviolable" or "unconditioned" in a panoply of values (which really are images of "what life ought to be"). The greater the honesty involved in laying out one's inviolable values and why they are so, the more fruitful the discussion about conflicting values and ends becomes.

The other thing we need more clarity about whenever these kinds of ethical debates take place is a real probing of all interlocutors of what each considers to be the nature of evil. If there are significant differences about the nature of evil, people will arrive at vastly different conclusions, employing vastly different processes of reasoning.

My understanding of the nature of evil drives how I reason out moral problems. For me, deriving this from a Roman Catholic tradition informed by insights from modern medical science (since Thomists tend to be comfortable with the knowledge from the sciences), evil is best described thus: cruelty, pleasure in inflicting death and pain, the desire for domination, deceit, a pure hatred of the created and the spiritual realms. I am HIGHLY skeptical that our personnel who have engaged in aggressive interrogations, including those which straddle the line, enjoy the experience and get off on inflicting pain on the jihadi prisoners. In my imagination (believing it to be realistic)I see men (maybe women too)who are very clinical about their tasks and have reduced the enemy jihad terrorist to the status of an object. A certain degree of objectification is necessary in order to deal with these unsavory characters who have information that could break plots and cells tasked with the destruction of us kafirs. This is not a pleasant job; at the same time there is some evidence that the other side, when they have our people as prisoners, enjoy the cruelty and savagery they inflict. Their goal is to humiliate and destroy. Our goal is to save lives. Very different ends, proceeding from very different processes.

Those who would absolutely prohibit aggressive interrogations and would impose on us a much more expansive definition of torture believe that the greater danger to us all consists in "stooping to the enemy's level." It's a cold comfort to those who may die in order to preserve our moral rectitude.

10/29/2007 03:37:00 PM  
Blogger demosophist said...

Again (and at the risk of being tagged a troll for stating my position twice, after it has gained no direct support) the only rational standard I can possibly come up with is the notion that we're justified in using methods on our enemies for which we can obtain people, from our own ranks, who will (absent extraordinary coercion) volunteer to undergo the same procedure. And the only reason I used the term "extraordinary coercion" is that membership in any fraternal organization, from the G.A.R. to S.A.E., demands some level of coercion.

Beyond that I agree that there's no way to discuss this rationally in a public forum.

I'm not sure why this line of reasoning doesn't seem to grab anyone. Perhaps someone could offer an explanation? Is there some alternative? If so, what is it? It seems to me that this approach comes as close as it's possible to get to the Golden Rule. If I'm missing something, what?

10/29/2007 04:10:00 PM  
Blogger The Duck said...

I seem to recall G. Gordon Liddy was voluntarily held his palm over an open flame for some considerable time to demonstrate his loyalty to a US President. Does that make burning people's palms an acceptable method of interrogation?

10/29/2007 04:38:00 PM  
Blogger demosophist said...

"I seem to recall G. Gordon Liddy was voluntarily held his palm over an open flame for some considerable time to demonstrate his loyalty to a US President. Does that make burning people's palms an acceptable method of interrogation?"

Well, unless you're able to demonstrate that Liddy is an irrational kook, then yes. However, it isn't as though there were only one person volunteering to undergo the waterboarding procedure. More like thousands, or tens of thousands. I know a former marine who was locked in a small box, in a fetal position, for twelve hours. Clearly, it isn't coherent to argue that we'd be willing to inflict this sort of thing on our own but we're unwilling to inflict it on an enemy bent on, and capable of, killing thousands of Americans. Yes, it's repugnant. War itself is repugnant. But it's a rational and coherent standard, whether or not you call such a procedure "torture" or not. The use of the term doesn't prove anything empirical or rational. I used to call piano practice torture.

Again, what do you offer in its stead, other than some vague sense of outrage that manages to completely discount consequences, and grants greater deference to enemies than friends. Frankly, I get the impression that requiring piano practice would be going too far. But if you've got a rational coherent alternative, what is it?

10/29/2007 06:30:00 PM  
Blogger Pauly said...

PeterBoston,

What evidence do you have that torture is a more reliable method of extracting information from a suspect than other methods available?

There's plenty of evidence available that torture does produce unreliable results, one of the more systemic examples being Stalin's show trials. Every example of a regime that used torture in a systemic way has many examples false confessions that were made to stop the torture. The witchcraft trials of the 16th and 17th centuries produced many confessions to witchcraft.

Yes the Gestapa and Kempetai had reputations of getting informatin through torture in WWII, but at the same time they did also get many false confessions. However it is widely accepted that the allies, who eschewed the use of torture, had higher success rates of both extracting reliable information and turning enemy agents into double agents than the torture using regimes

10/29/2007 11:06:00 PM  
Blogger Mike H. said...

I have a problem with something that Mr. Nance said. How did he know that waterboarding for extended periods of time caused irreversible harm to the individual undergoing the procedure? Did he gain empirical evidence by performing the extended procedure? Did he see servicemen who were severely incapacitated by the process? Does he consider himself to be incapacitated by the treatment that he received? John McCain underwent a number of different procedures that would color his evaluation of the different procedures but what about Mr. Nance?

BTW, are we all right with the actual torture that we inflict on innocent civilians who get caught in the crossfire of a battle? By the reckoning of some here we should quit in order to safeguard our admittedly high standards. If we're worried about the health and welfare of a combatant aren't we worried about the health and welfare of someone who had no intention of harming anyone.

For myself I like my country the way it is and I believe that with the Islamberg facilities we may have a chance to put our moral standards to the test faster than we think.

10/30/2007 01:54:00 AM  
Blogger James Kielland said...

I find it amazing that large numbers of people who have posted comments above apparently did not read the article or were unable to grasp its essential points. This is most clearly demonstrated by those who seem to think they are making some kind of useful contribution by pointing out that our enemies are some really bad dudes capable of some real viciousness. Yeah, no kidding.

In the original article, the author makes a number of valid points, the most reasonable in his concern about our nation's soul. I think his concern is justified. I've argued the torture issue on numerous forums, including this one, and my general impression is most of my opponents appear to have very little interest in interrogation or "tactical intelligence." The basic motive appears to be hatred and revenge, illustrated by groundless claims that certain practices aren't torture followed by claims of what they'd personally like to do to the bad guys. Frequently, some of it has had little to do with winning a war and seemed more like a Jeffrey Dahmer fantasy.

What so many commenters above are missing, in my view, is that they are purely focusing on this conflict and this enemy. My problem with torture is not that it could be applied to some really heinous people but the huge problem, in conflicts of this nature, that it could be mistakenly applied to the wrong people. Or that it could be purposefully applied to whoever some clown in power determines is the new enemy in the future.

It will take a while until history can step back and look at things and will probably require a lot of investigation. But I strongly suspect that it will be demonstrated that torture has provided very little in the way of useful, actionable intelligence in this conflict. But it has, without a doubt, cost the US immensely politically and economically.

The images of Abu Ghraib are international icons. In Latin America, which the US has been trying to further engage in trade agreements and cooperation, the opposition has seized on all of this torture talk and found that it has all too much resonance in many citizens. When the world's superpower, which has a history of all sorts of anti-democratic nastiness in the region, begins engaging in this business it quite naturally unnerves many people. Which isn't exactly helpful when a regional power like China is trying to carve out niches of influence in the US's backyard.

Things are looking better in Latin America. The region is more democratic and prosperous and many thuggish regimes have gone away. In addition to freaking out the people of that region I don't believe we should be communicating to any governments in the region that waterboarding and other techniques are acceptable and desirable.

In Costa Rica a few months ago there was an anti-American protest that drew over 100,000 people. Rather amazing for a country that has historically been very friendly to the US and has a population of 4 million. That would be equivalent to a protest of 750,000 people in the US. Large numbers of protestors were carrying signs referencing US torture practices.

Torture is not in the US's strategic interests. It undermines our international stature and it undermines our supposed quest to produce a world that is more democratic and recognizing of human rights, and less authoritarian. And it certainly undermines our effort to gain military assistance from our democratic allies.

The proponets of torture almost always argue from pure rhetorical fluff. They'll engage in the most goofy red herrings. They will frequently accuse those who disagree with the stupidest motives (they just hate Bush! They just hate America! They just hate our civilization!) And some will go even further accusing them of sympathizing with the enemy.

This is what I find unnerving: a bunch of wannabe Jeffrey Dahmers and lesser sadists who want to carve up "the enemy" for no apparent strategic advantage who also go so far as to call their domestic political opponents "enemies." The author's concern for the soul of the nation should be particularly heeded in light of that observation.

Thank God our nation has people like Malcolm Nance: a man who has devoted his career to defending his country, learning about the enemy, and training our soldiers. A man who has put his life on the line. A man who knows what he is talking about, both in Iraq and the US. A man clearly much more qualified informed to talk about this issue than any of us.

10/30/2007 02:19:00 AM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Whiskey,

You think on a tactical level; I prefer the strategic. That is why I think it is vital that a functioning civilization follow moral principles. Yes, I know there are hypothetical situations – on a tactical level – where I could potentially benefit from torture, slavery, human experimentation, mass death camps, child rape, etc. I freely accept that I am losing some tactical freedom of movement. But what am I gaining by insisting that my society stay firmly upon the rails of moral certainty?

I am gaining the moral cohesion of my society. The type of civilization that my forefathers have suffered and died to create. A society where human dignity rules and animals are kept in stages. Yes it is possible that some day one of my kids could be kidnapped and the only way to save his life would be to torture one of his captors. Or maybe raping the child of one of his captors to get him to confess. One of my kids could get sick and the only way medication could be made to save his life is by experimenting on and killing other children. Or by enslaving a portion of our society to create a labour intensive drug that is not viable in a market driven system. I accept all of these tactical limitations because I know the second I allow torture by children are more at risk to be tortured. The immoral cesspool will rise. The same with human experimentation, slavery, etc. By accepting the small tactical advantage I am taking a huge strategic loss.

If your point is that that our civilization, our organizing principle, is flawed and that we must torture, enslave, etc to defeat the Jihadis then what is the difference between you and the Nazi-symps who always held that Democracies could never beat a totalitarian government? You are basically saying we cannot beat them so let’s join them. That their system is superior to ours. That they are right and we are wrong.

Whose side are you on?

10/30/2007 02:41:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

pauly

I only point out the logical absurdity of the argument that torture does not work because the captive will tell you everything you want to hear.

10/30/2007 03:44:00 AM  
Blogger Ash said...

and peterboston, you seem to consistently miss the obvious - "the captive will tell you everything you want to hear." even if it is false.

10/30/2007 06:33:00 AM  
Blogger PeterBoston said...

Perhaps the missing is by those who posit that false information is the only possible result.

10/30/2007 10:03:00 AM  
Blogger rich said...

There is an terrible story of torture in a North Korean “Total Control Camp” that is breaking:

Born and raised in a North Korean gulag—IHT

http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/07/09/news/korea.php

N. Korean reveals childhood torture—WashTimes

http://washingtontimes.com/article/20071030/FOREIGN/110300055/1001

(Note Linked articles at the WashTimes site are “stubs” they are not the complete story. To read the complete story you have to use the “print” link, which opens a the complete version of the story.)

10/30/2007 10:23:00 AM  
Blogger BrianFH said...

Waterboarding is unpleasant, but leaves no scars and kills no prisoners.

Beyond that, I continue to consider that the AQ et al have violated so many norms of civilized combat, starting with fighting in civvies, that they have publicly renounced all claim to "fair treatment". Fuggem.

11/01/2007 06:23:00 AM  
Blogger Nihimon said...

I think what most of the people who don't want to allow torture are missing is this: it matters *why* you do it.

To end world war 2 we dropped nuclear bombs on two cities in Japan, killing hundreds of thousands. Surely that was much worse than waterboarding. Would you argue that now our enemies will feel justified in dropping nuclear bombs on us?

Nothing is evil of itself, but the spirit in which it is done.

Hurt rather than maim. Maim rather than kill. But get the job done.

11/01/2007 12:10:00 PM  
Blogger Kevin said...

Internet broadcasters We Hit & Run (http://wehitandrun.info) used waterboarding as a political satire and on-air stunt...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=muPliLpTSb8

4/05/2008 11:10:00 PM  

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