21 comments for “A Waterboarding Demonstration

  1. February 8, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    I don’t find the above video terribly compelling. But this I found compelling.

    It’s written by a guy who wanted to find out how bad this waterboarding stuff really is to prove to his “liberal scum” acquaintances that “those Al Zarqawi guys were such pussies.”

    I suggest that others read it.

  2. Dick Cabeza
    February 9, 2008 at 6:41 am

    Wow, pretty awful sh*t ! What is the lesson to be learned?

    Oh, I got it.

    Don’t be a terrorist planning an attack on the United States of America.

    Works for me, and it WORKS for the “al” guys too.

  3. The Captain
    February 9, 2008 at 7:32 am

    That wasn’t compelling at all…Watching the process actually makes me think it is less invasive than it has been described. It makes me think we might not be doing enough in Guantanamo.

    I love the horrible acting though …. “Give me the names! Give me the names!” Too funny.

  4. The Captain
    February 9, 2008 at 7:47 am

    My favorite part of the post linked to by Gila:

    his is not too bad. with my diving experience, you would never break me this way. I can’t beleive those AL Zarqawi guys were such pussies.

    More seriously, I know that isn’t the intent of the article. I’m glad you posted it because one of my first thoughts was of having this done to myself so I could see what it is like. I’m still thinking about it but I think this is a pretty accurate assessment.

    Until now, I had never heard of the saran wrap version of waterboarding. I’m not convinced it is wrong but I’m not willing to say to is ok. I would need to find more information about it first and so far, this is the only thing I’ve seen.

    But, this article has convinced me that the wet-rag-in-the-mouth is no big deal.

    Also, the idea that I would consider doing this does not in any way suggest I think it would be pleasant. It’s supposed to be unpleasant.

  5. Jubal
    February 9, 2008 at 12:31 pm

    How about the videos of Daniel Pearl or Nick Berg having their heads cut off? The beheaders are the types who get the waterboarding treatment. It’s good to keep that in mind next time someone gets all weepy because of those very few occasions when we pour water over a terrorists head to get information.

  6. February 9, 2008 at 2:13 pm

    Jubal: thank you for not playing the very silly “tough guy” card — not that I thought you would.

    I think we’re conflating several things that ought to be discussed separately. Waterboarding is not, to the best of my knowledge, being discussed as a potential punishment. Therefore a discussion of it vis-a-vis the killers of Pearl etc isn’t relevant. What we’re talking about is using torture to Obtain Intelligence.

    The questions being asked, therefore, are 1) is it ok for the US, or a US-sponsored entity, to torture someone for the purpose of obtaining useful information, 2) has torture been found to be effective in obtaining useful information 3) if it is effective, is it as effective as or more effective than non-torture methods, and 4) is waterboarding torture?

    I believe this post is really talking about the last question, “Is waterboarding torture?” Everything I’ve read and heard makes me think it IS. However, let’s stipulate for the moment that it’s a subjective issue and that reasonable people could possibly disagree. Then let’s go back to issues 1, 2, and 3.

    1) is it ok for the US to torture to get info? I don’t think anyone in an official capacity in the US government has asserted that it is.

    2) has torture been found to be effective? I am certainly no expert, but I have heard considerable evidence that it’s not.

    3) is it as effective as non-torture methods? Again, my understanding is that even though torture can yield useful information, non-torture methods have been found to be better. Information obtained via torture is often wrong, for example.

    I know conservative Reeps are not generally fans of John McCain, but I don’t think anyone will dispute his credentials as a veteran and a POW. He was tortured by the North Vietnamese, and he is an outspoken critic of torture. He feels we should only do to our enemies what we would have them do to us.

    I realize this sounds suspiciously like that old Golden Rule thingie, but to the best of my knowledge McCain’s views are not based on religion but practicality: he doesn’t want our troops to go through the things he went through.

    Up until about a month ago a member of my immediate family was in uniform in the Middle East. I no longer have to think about him when I hear about bad things happening to our service members, but I know that all serving US men and women are human beings and I do have to think about THEM.

    We should not use torture on our enemies because we don’t want it used on Americans.

  7. The Captain
    February 9, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Gila is the right issue is: “is waterboard torture?” I say no.

    But I have a gut feeling that the people this is happening to are envious of those who had the opportunity to behead Daniel Pearl or Nick Berg. Given the opportunity, these terrorists wouldn’t waste a second to do this to someone else. If the “more humane” ways of getting this information don’t work, things like waterboard should be used. It is the second option. Hopefully it will work even though it is not a guaranteed way to get the information we need.

    Finally, regarding Senator McCain – whether we use “torture” or not, our enemies will continue to do so. Just because we take the high road, doesn’t mean they will. Frankly, I think it is time we use their tactics against them because everyone should play by the same rules and our enemies don’t play by rules. Maybe a video of the terrorists in Guantamo getting their heads cut off would make some of these guys think twice before killing Americans.

  8. February 9, 2008 at 6:14 pm

    > Frankly, I think it is time we use their tactics against them because everyone should play by the same rules and our enemies don’t play by rules

    Ah, yes. Let’s lose the moral high ground and stoop to their level. That’ll help us in the eyes of all those other countries that we have to deal with, friendly or no. Who cares what other countries, or even our own citizens think of us, right? Heck, we’re the US of A and we do what we damned well please! It’s not like that would encourage more terrorism against the USA or anything like that.

  9. Dick Cabesa
    February 9, 2008 at 7:32 pm

    Captain,

    I like your style. The rest of you appeasers cut the shit !!

    If your families were threatened you would waterboard,cut off fingers or blow a hole in some terrorist scums leg (Jack Bauer is a stud !) -whatever it would take to protect the ones you love.

    Stop beating a dead horse. Waterboarding will never be ruled out – same as the Second Amendment.

  10. paddy_boy
    February 9, 2008 at 9:14 pm

    Waterboarding is torture, plain and simple. Call it what it is. The President of the United States or rather, the Self-Proclaimed KING of the United States has, with the complicity of his corrupted “Justice”(!) Dept., legalized torture, in the spirit of Adolph Hitler, Saddam Hussein (how ironic!), Pol Pot, Augusto Pinochet, and other recognized war criminals. Guys like Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeldt, John Yoo, Addington, etc., better not plan any foreign vacations for the rest of their lives, unless they want to risk arrest and trial for war crimes in more civilized countries than our own. Personally, I’m beginning to think these guys don’t just condone torture, they like it! There’s some weird psycho-sexual shit going on with these dudes, which fits right in with all those stereotypes of right-wing moralists who secretly crave to be sodomized by leather-clad dominatrixes. These are the people in charge of our country. God help us.

  11. Dick Cabeza
    February 10, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    paddy_boy,

    That is really a stretch buddy.

    Hyperbole aside, (on both sides) – what would you do to extract information from a known terrorist with information of an imenent threat? Ask him “pretty please” tell me where, when and how many terrorists are plotting to take that mall or movie theater – or city?

    The people we trust in the security of this country are not sadists looking for jollies. They do a tough job and I trust them to use extreme measures such as waterboarding when necessary to protect all of us.

  12. anon
    February 10, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Well, waterboarding is certainly torture. But that demonstration doesn’t seem very authentic…half the time the water isn’t even being poured directly over the nostrils.

  13. February 10, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    what would you do to extract information from a known terrorist with information of an imenent threat? Ask him “pretty please” tell me where, when and how many terrorists are plotting to take that mall or movie theater – or city?

    I am no expert in this matter but I have family members who have worked in military intelligence. From what they tell me and from what I have read, torture is not an effective method of obtaining intelligence. In fact, what is obtained under torture is so unreliable as to be useless because torture subjects will say anything — true or not — to make the pain stop.

  14. The Captain
    February 10, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    The consequences of giving false information would need to be worse the the measures used to extract the information. If somone truly doesn’t know anything, then the person probably knows who has the information. These are known terrorists or known associates of terrorists not just random people off the street so is in inconceivable that they don’t have the information.

  15. February 10, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    This is just silly. There are people who do this professionally. They say torture is not the way to go. Why even discuss it further?

  16. Dan Chmielewski
    February 10, 2008 at 9:04 pm

    Matt–
    Thanks for bringing up Berg and Pearl; if you’re suggesting that America stoops to the level of Al Zawquai, then we’ve already lost.

    Saddam Hussein wasn’t tortured. His capturers earned his trust over a period of several months and we got everything we needed from him

  17. The Captain
    February 11, 2008 at 7:54 am

    This is just silly. There are people who do this professionally. They say torture is not the way to go. Why even discuss it further?

    One reason is that within any profession, there are usually different schools of thought. Even if you have family in military intelligence, it doesn’t mean the person is right or even good at what they do.

  18. February 11, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Captain: you need to read up on the subject of the effectiveness of torture. I realize many people want to believe it works. But the fact is that the US military, the CIA, and the Israelis have shown over and over that other methods of obtaining intelligence are more effective than torture is.

    I’m a big fan of “24.” The clearly defined good versus bad, the heroism of Jack Bauer, the sci-fi technology, and the clear solutions to complex problems presented on that program make for terrific entertainment. It’s satisfying to see Jack torture an evil-doer both as punishment and to get info.

    But it’s a fictional TV program. Jack Bauer just a character played by Kiefer Sutherland, who in real life is a Canadian and a political liberal who recently completed a jail term for DUI.

    And in real life, torture doesn’t work.

  19. The Captain
    February 11, 2008 at 11:12 am

    If it was universally accepted that it doesn’t work, we wouldn’t be having this discussion.

    If one person says it won’t work, you are going to accept that as being fact because you don’t think it is humane.

    I don’t think terrorists are humane, so I’m willing to listen to anyone who says it will work.

    The truth is somewhere in the middle – it always is. But, since the threat is real and we are dealing with really bad people, if there is a chance that it might work, I say go for it.

    Your position is the opposite, since there is a chance it might not work, you are willing to sacrifice the safety of our country over the feelings of a few terrorists.

  20. Jack Bauer
    February 11, 2008 at 11:45 am

    But it’s a fictional TV program. Jack Bauer just a character played by Kiefer Sutherland, who in real life is a Canadian and a political liberal who recently completed a jail term for DUI.

    Yes that is true.
    But one of the co-creators of the show..plus many of the writers are not liberals…they are conservatives and republicans..oh no!! HAHAHAHA!!!

  21. February 11, 2008 at 4:16 pm

    Thanks for bringing up Berg and Pearl; if you’re suggesting that America stoops to the level of Al Zawquai, then we’ve already lost.

    Dan, I’m beginning to wonder if is possible for you to do anything EXCEPT misconstrue what i sway.

    I made no such suggestion. Not even remotely.

    You post this video in order to say “isn’t this horrible. We shouldn’t ever do this.”

    I brought up those two videos of actual atrocities as a reminder of the type of barbarians we are fighting — the type we have used waterboarding on a handful of times. My purpose was to put it in perspective and remind you who the bad guys are.

    Waterboardiing is not on the level of Al Zawquai. Beheadings, terrorizing and killing innocent civilians and American serviceman and women — that is their level.

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