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Waterboarding: It was Done in Your Name

Christopher Hitchens, a writer for Vanity Fair magazine, underwent waterboarding to experience it for himself firsthand.

What more can be added to the debate over U.S. interrogation methods, and whether waterboarding is torture? Try firsthand experience. The author undergoes the controversial drowning technique, at the hands of men who once trained American soldiers to resist--not inflict--it.

Believe Me, It's Torture

Here is the most chilling way I can find of stating the matter. Until recently, "waterboarding" was something that Americans did to other Americans. It was inflicted, and endured, by those members of the Special Forces who underwent the advanced form of training known as sere (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape). In these harsh exercises, brave men and women were introduced to the sorts of barbarism that they might expect to meet at the hands of a lawless foe who disregarded the Geneva Conventions. But it was something that Americans were being trained to resist, not to inflict. More here.

It was done in your name. Should the United States employ waterboarding as an aid in the interrogation of suspects?

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Rating: 1.8/5 (11 votes cast)

Comments (3)

Peter F.:

Depends on the suspect.

KSM, yes. OBL, yes. Some random guy caught on the field of battle, no. (And there'd likely be no reason to waterboard the random guy for info.)


That he willingly submitted himself to it gives us an idea of how tortuous this torture is on the torture scale. I await Hitch's first hand comparison to having bamboo shoved in orifices, knuckles broken under screws and toe nail pulled by pliers.
Somewhere higher on the scale than Cardinal Biggles Comfy Chair, but well below any of the above examples. I am not sure where a John Tesh and Kenny G double billing would rate... I personally would take a water boarding session of the same duration and severity (and the same knowledge that no, they aren't really hostile to me) that Hitch endured, over the adult contemporary session.


I didn't know there was a torture scale, SCSI. I just thought torture was morally reprehensible and that our military didn't practice it.


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