Waterboarding is an interrogation technique in which the prisoner is bound to an inclined board with feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in.
The sensation is so awful, the prisoner begs to confess in an average 14 seconds, according to ABC News.
Many American soldiers and CIA interrogators, as part of their training, have been waterboarded. So has Fox News Channel’s Steve Harrigan for a video report. Although waterboarding feels indescribably terrible, it doesn’t hurt the victim physically or psychologically. Harrigan said the experience was “torture,” but minutes afterward, he noted he felt perfectly fine.
Others who have had it, such as military personnel, said it was “not torture.”
People of good faith can disagree whether waterboarding is torture. It doesn’t hurt the victim physically or psychologically, but the sensation of having water pour down your nose and throat, even though it isn’t actually happening, would certainly feel like torture.
No bill declaring waterboarding to be an act of torture has ever been enacted into law in the United States. Also, there’s no evidence that any American citizen or legal resident has ever been waterboarded to obtain information.
Democratic senators are demanding, though, that Attorney General Designate Michael Mukasey forbid the president to order waterboarding. In other words, they want President Bush to declare waterboarding is torture, so Congress doesn’t have to bother enacting a bill or overriding a veto. Both Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and Barack Obama, D-ILL, have refused to confirm Mukasey for this reason.
However, if Mukasey was confirmed, he couldn’t enforce the ban anyway, because he works for the president. The president doesn’t work for him.
Both Obama and Clinton think, instead of having three distinct branches of government, the president should be the lapdog of Congress. At least they are saying that now of Bush.
Do you think if one of them is elected in 2008, he or she will be a congressional puppet? Pardon that rumbling sound you hear. I’m trying not to laugh.