Posted by Wordsmith on 26 April, 2009 at 9:22 am. 61 comments already!


I’ve known about Christopher Hitchens’ Vanity Fair article where he changed his tune regarding whether or not waterboarding constitutes torture; but I hadn’t realized there’s also a video that shows the session he had.

He lasts for only about 5 or 6 applications.

I wouldn’t be so quick to pass judgment on Hitchens as a wimp, either; not unless you’ve personally experienced the same, yourself (I know some of our readers have).

Regardless of whether it’s applied to our own soldiers in SERE training to develop coping mechanisms to resist, or whether it’s being inflicted on enemy combatants to go beyond their breaking points….can we or should we concede that waterboarding does in fact fit into the categorical definition of “torture”?

After all, I could potentially classify such things as tickling and most hip hop music as torture, so why not waterboarding?

Conceding the language and calling the “harsh interrogation methods” as “torture” without a distinction is politically damaging to those of us who have defended the Bush Administration and CIA decision to engage in “enhanced interrogation” to keep us safe.

How should we define “torture”? And how effective were the “harsh interrogation” methods in extrapolating actionable intelligence?

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