misterx: (Default)
I listen to a lot of talk radio, aka "right wing" talk radio. I used to listen to it mainly on lunchbreak and on the drive home. I now also listen to it on the drive in, since my local radio station filled the gap left by Imus with Bill Bennett.

I know others who also listen to these programs, and parrot the content back faithfully as fact. I find it disturbing, because some of these folks consider themselves independent thinkers. They have uncovered the truth of the matter, by cleverly listening to talk radio. I like to take it with a grain of salt myself.

It is in that spirit that Sean Hannity's flippant cheerfulization of waterboarding got to bothering me. "You put a rag over someone's face, and pour water on it, and it simulates drowning." I'm paraphrasing, but that doesn't sound so bad. Heck, I remember being a kid, lying in the tub, and pulling a wet washcloth over my face. I could see how it could be a little spooky if someone was splashing you, but it wasn't torture. Yet... why the big fuss then? Of course, that is what Bush/Cheney and the talk radio folks are arguing, "What's the big deal with pouring some water on a guy?"

"Simulated drowning", I keep hearing that phrase a lot, sometimes coupled with the word "harmless".

Here's an excerpt from someone with an educated and strongly opposing viewpoint:
"Waterboarding is a controlled drowning that, in the American model, occurs under the watch of a doctor, a psychologist, an interrogator and a trained strap-in/strap-out team. It does not simulate drowning, as the lungs are actually filling with water. There is no way to simulate that. The victim is drowning. ... A team doctor watches the quantity of water that is ingested and for the physiological signs which show when the drowning effect goes from painful psychological experience, to horrific suffocating punishment to the final death spiral.

Waterboarding is slow motion suffocation with enough time to contemplate the inevitability of black out and expiration –usually the person goes into hysterics on the board. For the uninitiated, it is horrifying to watch and if it goes wrong, it can lead straight to terminal hypoxia. When done right it is controlled death. Its lack of physical scarring allows the victim to recover and be threaten with its use again and again."

--Malcolm Nance, former Master Instructor and Chief of Training at the US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE)


I find the following article well thought out, you should give it a read:
http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/10/waterboarding-is-torture-perio/

Another article, with testimony from a victim of waterboarding at the hands of the Japanese, can be found here:
http://www.cbc.ca/news/viewpoint/vp_mallick/20061106.html

Food for thought.

Luckily I post mostly late at night, so it's easily ignored.

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