Is Waterboarding Torture? How Could the Waterboard *Not* be Considered Water Torture?

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What is waterboarding? Originally a form of medieval torture, known to be used by the Spanish Inquisition, and still in practice today, it is a form of water torture. To waterboard someone is to shackle them on the floor, face up, stuff something into their mouth (usually cloth) and then pour water over their face repeatedly, forcing it into their mouth and lungs, which simulates drowning. In fact, someone who is waterboarded believes that death is imminent, and it is a very effective way to force someone to give up information – genuine or not due to the coercion.

Waterboarding is in the news these days because Michael Mukasey, President Bush’ nominee for Attorney General, is unwilling to agree that waterboarding is torture.

How could it not be considered torture?

But in case you aren’t sure, journalist Kaj Larsen, himself a former Navy seal, arranged to have himself waterboarded on film. Here is the link to the video – be warned, it’s graphic:

Video of Kaj Larsen getting waterboarded to bring waterboarding to public awareness

So, what do you think? Is waterboarding torture?

1 thought on “Is Waterboarding Torture? How Could the Waterboard *Not* be Considered Water Torture?

  1. This practice was used by the Spanish Inquisition.

    Hint: if the Spanish Inquisition used a technique, it probably is torture.

    just a rule of thumb. Let us not forget the thumb screws, either.

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