When will we see Mister Bush, Alberto Gonzales, Dick Cheney, Michael Mukasey or any of the other torture enablers and apologists volunteer for this entirely legal technique? After all, if it is only a dunk in the water, or just like swimming, then these brave defenders of
torture, er “legal” interrogation techniques should be more than willing to assuage the doubts of millions of Americans as to what they make sound like a trip to a waterpark.
And in this “post 9/11 world”, why, if waterboarding is so necessary that the dance to thread the needle and make it legal-because-it-isn’t-expressly-and-specifically-illegal, was it only used on three people? Why not continue to use it? Why were tapes of this
torture, damn, there I go again, “happy fun swim time” destroyed by the CIA despite warnings not to destroy them? Are we now so weak that we aren’t using all of the tools at our disposal to stop terrorists before they kill us all? Wouldn’t this administration want to show these tapes over and over and over again to show all of us “terrorist supporting critics” how much fun it really is? Or even better, how much it works?
Oh yeah….that’s right. It doesn’t work.
But let’s put aside the silly “it doesn’t work” argument, because it is irrelevant if it is legal and, if we take the next step from what is being said by its proponents, something that all children should learn, just like the backstroke. We do know that declassified CIA documents from the 1960’s (yeah, I know, when the world was perfect and before 9/11 changed everything) said the following:
The effects of isolation, anxiety, fatigue, lack of sleep, uncomfortable temperatures, and chronic hunger produce disturbances of mood, attitudes, and behavior in nearly all prisoners. The living organism cannot entirely withstand such assaults.
The Communists do not look upon these assaults as "torture". Undoubtedly, they use the methods which they do in order to conform, in a typical legalistic manner, to Communist theory which demands that "no force or torture be used in extracting information from prisoners." But these methods do constitute torture and physical coercion and should never be considered otherwise.
Now if the things above were considered torture by our own CIA, then wouldn’t something along the lines of attempted murder also be considered torture, let alone illegal? Or, can we now try to strangle or suffocate someone as long as we stop before actually killing the person? Can I stuff rocks down someone’s throat if I give them the Heimlich maneuver afterwards? And taking a more similar example, can we now hold someone’s head underwater (in a tub, toilet, lake, pool or whatever) over and over and over as long as they don’t die?
It sounds like precedent to me. But why stop there? Why not train the local police in this very legal interrogation method so that it can be used to get information from suspected kidnappers or child molesters or people that get stopped in the airport security and dare to question why? After all, shouldn’t we be using every tool at our disposal to question suspects, and you never know where the next terrorist is lurking?
I think that the fact that waterboarding isn’t used anymore, despite Bush ordering it, Mukasey refusing to investigate it and the CIA destroying tapes showing it and Gonzales declaring it legal shows how weak this administration is in the WarOnTerror™. If it is so legal, if it is akin to swimming or a dunk in the water then why not demonstrate the American public in plain sight what it really constitutes? And why not use it on every single detainee in Gitmo, Riker’s Island and other maximum security prisons?
Hell, why not take it one step further - we can make it a reality TV show and make it a contest where the winner can win a prize. Or even better, install it as a ride at Six Flags – think of how popular it would be if only the rest of the world understood just how legal and fun it can be.
It can be the latest craze.