"A former Navy survival instructor subjected to waterboarding as part of his military training told Congress yesterday that the controversial tactic should plainly be considered torture and that such a method was never intended for use by U.S. interrogators because it is a relic of abusive totalitarian governments.
Malcolm Wrightson Nance, a counterterrorism specialist who taught at the Navy's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) school in California, likened waterboarding to drowning and said those who experience it will say or do anything to make it stop, rendering the information they give nearly useless." Josh White
I would like to know in what universe waterboarding would not be considered torture. Perhaps it was the universe inhabited by the KGB, the Gestapo or the Tonton Macoutes. I would like to stay out of that universe.
I have thought from the beginning of this horror that many of these interrogation "techniques" were imported from the SERE schools and had not been US interrogation methods. I still think that.
I believe I know Nance. If it is the man I am thinking of he is not exactly a sissy. Actually, he is nothing like a sissy.
I am always "impressed" by the "heros" who say resolutely (with steely glint) "Sometimes a man's gotta do what a man's gotta do..." Mostly, the people who say things like that have never done anything except talk tough and make money (maybe). Mostly, the people who say that kind of thing want someone else to do "what a man's gotta do." Mostly, they want people like me or the people who used to work for me to do it. Mostly, the "tough guys" would throw up if they saw what they like to babble about.
Waterboarding is worse than a crime. It is stupid. (That was a quiz. 10 points for recognizing the quote) As Nance says in the article, when you are being drowned, you will say anything, anything, anything.... Surely that should lead to the conclusion that, at the very least, it is useless to waterboard people. Useless, unless you happen to be a sadist who just likes doing things like that without regard to rational thinking. People like me are given to rational thinking and moderation in action. That's what the word "professional" implies. Waterboarding should not be something that the United states allows, EVER.
In extremis, I might do something really beastly to someone to satisfy the needs of the "ticking bomb" fantasy scenario, but it would not be waterboarding, and I would want to know that it was not legal. pl