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Is it the worst thing you'll read all year?
November 9, 2010 1:39 AM   Subscribe

A description of the CIA's waterboarding techniques and the practical applications of other physical interrogation practices to enhance its effectiveness.
posted by artof.mulata (30 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
Related: George W Bush claims UK lives 'saved by waterboarding'

British lives were saved by the use of information obtained from terrorist suspects by "waterboarding", according to former US President George W Bush.

He said the interrogation technique - which simulates drowning - had helped to break up plots to attack Heathrow airport and Canary Wharf.

posted by MuffinMan at 1:47 AM on November 9, 2010


Is it the worst thing you'll read all year?

Probably not. But it's truly fucked up all the same.
posted by Ahab at 1:50 AM on November 9, 2010


by far not the worst thing I'll read all year, but then again, I know a tiny bit about the big bad world...
posted by dawson at 1:53 AM on November 9, 2010


Related: George W Bush claims UK lives 'saved by waterboarding'

I saw this, and for about 3 seconds thought: wow, I work at Canary Wharf: I don't want to support waterboarding, but what if it potentially saved my life? Tough moral dilemma.

Then I remembered that GWB also claims that Iraq had WMD and was involved in 9/11. So......
posted by Infinite Jest at 1:59 AM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


I'm all for waterboarding.

Assuming we take our current electoral season debate schedule and spice it up by having candidates who support waterboarding take their questions via the same mechanism, on live TV. Then those who are against it can clearly state their reasons why, standing at a podium like normal, sane people who understand what the Geneva Convention is.
posted by allkindsoftime at 2:18 AM on November 9, 2010 [12 favorites]


And how exactly do these people sleep at night?

How could you go home after a hard day at work almost drowning prisoners - but not trying so hard as to actually DROWN them, because, you know, that wouldn't be cool, just follow the guidelines if they stop breathing, and if they need a tracheotomy, well, we got a doctor right here to help them out...

I'm speechless. That is utterly disgusting and it's times like these I really want to believe in kharma.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 2:24 AM on November 9, 2010


I believe in karma. It helps, immensely, especially in letting go of those who deem it permissible to use such professional techniques.
posted by The Lady is a designer at 2:40 AM on November 9, 2010


And how exactly do these people sleep at night?

Because they are sociopaths? I wonder how many of them will be kidnapping US citizens to rape and torture later in life for a little nostalgia, or will the US always have plenty of people around to be waterboarded?
posted by BrotherCaine at 2:51 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh bollocks to karma. I believe in trying criminals in courts of law, in this life.
posted by pompomtom at 2:53 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Oh bollocks to karma. I believe in trying criminals in courts of law, in this life.

Yeah, well those of us who are stuck outside the system where such criminals could be tried have to take our consolation where we can find it.
posted by bardophile at 3:17 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


War crimes, pure and simple. Anybody from Bush downwards who instigated or participated in these war crimes should be prosecuted. There's some evidence that some prisoners died as a result of this torture, so charges of murder are appropriate, especially for Bush.

I don't give any credence to the suggestion that this saved lives. Such an assertion needs backing up, and there's no prospect of that. Even if it were proved true, that is no excuse for this outrage. British interrogators at the end of WW2 did not need to resort to torture of Nazi POWs.

At Nuremberg, any Nazis who had participated in this sort of torture would certainly have been executed. What has changed?
posted by salmacis at 3:32 AM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


What has changed?

The Nazis lost decisively.
posted by pompomtom at 3:45 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


I have it on good authority that we never used waterboarding, that it's not torture anyway, that it was only for the worst of the worst who deserved it, and that it saved lives. All at the same time.
posted by Legomancer at 6:15 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


Give it up, people. The majority of people in this country believe that anything is permissible in the face of a threat to our security. Period. There will never be broad political support for war crimes charges
posted by spicynuts at 6:27 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


spicynuts:There will never be broad political support for war crimes charges

Holding torturers and their superiors truely accountable easily turns into a political soundbite to the tune of "bleeding heart liberal moron who cares more about the rights of terrorists than protecting America". That'll torpedo an election campaign in the blink of an eye.
posted by dr_dank at 6:44 AM on November 9, 2010


All the more reason for those of us not campaigning to be vocal about our disapproval.
posted by freshwater at 6:58 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm all for waterboarding.

Assuming we take our current electoral season debate schedule and spice it up by having candidates who support waterboarding take their questions via the same mechanism, on live TV.


This sounds really good, actually. People generally agree that politicians regularly lie or at least distort the truth, and of course it's vital to democracy that voters know the truth about what their elected officials believe. So, since some politicians profess to believe that waterboarding produces the truth, by their own logic it is vital to democracy that they be subjected to it.

And judicial appointees who think waterboarding produces useful information and isn't torture should be waterboarded during their confirmation hearings. It only makes sense.
posted by jedicus at 7:14 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a fear of someday, unknowingly, being treated by a doctor that participated in waterboarding. They have brought shame and doubt on the entire medical profession.
posted by gallois at 7:46 AM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Any country that tortures people is not worth defending.
posted by 7-7 at 8:45 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


My dad and I don't see eye to eye on most political issues; waterboarding is one instance where he sort of changed my thinking. He was a Navy pilot - flew P-3's and chased Soviet subs around in the Pacific for the majority of his career. Part of his training involved getting waterboarded (they didn't call it that, but that's what it was) to test/prepare him for the possibility of interrogation if he was captured by the Russians. He said it really sucked, but having experienced it himself, he was okay with our side using it as an interrogation technique.

I still oppose waterboarding on pragmatic grounds: we need to be the good guys to win this war, because when we resort to torture we are unwittingly recruiting for the enemy. And I'd definitely prefer to keep my liberty at the expense of my security, thanks. But I don't think the people who want to employ techniques like this to save lives are monsters. Misguided, over-zealous? Definitely. Criminals? Probably. Pure evil? No.
posted by richyoung at 8:50 AM on November 9, 2010


I wish there were a depository in the government I could delve into that would reveal as many dirty and horrifying truths of state as I could handle, like the internet delivers as much goatse, crazy porn and gore as I can handle.
posted by Submiqent at 9:21 AM on November 9, 2010


This just in: No Charges Over Destruction of Interrogation Tapes, Justice Dept. Says

That is all.
posted by Skygazer at 9:38 AM on November 9, 2010 [2 favorites]


richyoung, not to diminish your story or your father's experience in any way, but the article describes the difference between the military training-type waterboarding and the waterboarding presently being conducted.
posted by fake at 9:39 AM on November 9, 2010 [4 favorites]


Fake, I have no doubt that they're harder on suspected terrorists in real interrogations than they are on military personnel in fake interrogations. That makes sense.

But I had not yet RTFA when I posted. (Gotta stop doing that....) Having read it now, yeah, I'm not okay with our government doing that to people.
posted by richyoung at 11:56 AM on November 9, 2010 [3 favorites]


Bush: At my direction, Department of Justice and CIA lawyers conducted a careful legal review. The enhanced interrogation program complied with the Constitution and all applicable laws, including those that ban torture.
Then our DOJ has lost its way.
posted by uni verse at 1:15 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Guy who thinks waterboarding isn't torture waterboards himself; changes his mind.
posted by Evilspork at 7:09 PM on November 9, 2010 [1 favorite]


Having read it now, yeah, I'm not okay with our government doing that to people.

richyoung, thank you. Without the ability to recognize one's own faulty decisions, and admit it, anything is possible. Sadly.
posted by IAmBroom at 7:30 PM on November 9, 2010


The British government is denying there is any evidence for Bush's claims that waterboarding saved lives.
posted by salmacis at 12:34 AM on November 10, 2010 [1 favorite]


I read this last night, and it literally sickened me.

Because they are sociopaths?

The worst part is, they're not. These seeds dwell in many of us. That's why we must defend from them so vigorously.
posted by smoke at 1:40 AM on November 10, 2010


It's not just that he was receiving oral sex, it's that he lied about it under oath. It would be abandoning the principals of our entire justice system not to investigate and prosecute.
posted by Bokononist at 10:49 PM on November 11, 2010


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