Saturday, June 16, 2007

Is It Torture?

In the comments well below, Copithorne is quite sure that waterboarding meets his definition of "inflicting excruciating pain." Judge for yourself.

Waterboarding video.


Anonymous said...

I've watched videos of waterboarding, and, no, not torture. I don't want to undergo it, but my son will as part of his training. A man at our church told me he beat it which made his squad or whatever really mad.
This week my son graduated from his first year of SERE training and I am so proud of him. He gets to do all those exciting dangerous things under the watchful eye of the AF and I feel he is so much safer than he was at home in the stupid phase of life.

terri said...

I can't watch the video because our computer system is something akin to a Commodore 64 held together with duct tape and bubble gum.

I have seen graphic depictions of it and heard it described.

Is it torture? maybe.

Troops may have to go through it, but keep in mind that the people who conduct it in training are people who are on the same side as you and have no resentment and ill will towards you. They will show much more restraint than what may happen out in the combat field.

Clinical objectivity may be hard to maintain while trying to get information out of a suspected terrorist who may have killed one of your buddies only days before. That, combined with the battle fatigue and stress our troops are under just seems to make for a tragedy waiting to happen.

We shouldn't use iffy tactics for several reasons. For one, it gives us a lot of bad press and undermines our ability to stand on moral higher ground. Secondly, the men that are trained to be aggressive with prisoners are the same men that are going to be coming home to wives, children and their communities. Why give them extra baggage to have to work through? Last, call me an idealist, but I think that America should stand by its uniquely just laws and not sully them by seeing how close we can come to the line without actually crossing it.

Colin Powell was on Meet The Press about a week ago. He said that if were up to him, he would shut down GITMO and move all the enemy combatants to prisons in the US, give them their rights and get out of the grey areas we have made for ourselves.

I shouted, "Amen to that!"

Anonymous said...

Hi terri,
I read some of your blog for the first time. I love your rationalist and I jiggled some bellyfat at his assertion that he knew all the English words except some of the bad ones.
Anyway, it is a shame that you can't watch the video. If you could you would be amazed at how instantaneous recovery from waterboarding is. You are right that it could be done wrongly by those in rage, but by then they are beating the captive to death anyway. No, not good. But the technique, in itself, is harmless.

jackscrow said...

Doesn't it just depend on who's doin' the deed?

Why can't we be like the English and know that somewhere out there is a bunch of people doing things that we can't stomache, but that probably (in reality) have to be done.

I dunno. Places like GITMO probably shouldn't exist. If you capture enemy soldiers, take them back to your country, put them on trial (a military one) and either imprison them, let them go, trade them, or execute them. But I guess this isn't 1945, so things get complicated....

waca waca said...

I tend to make my decisions based on my own personal ideas.

What I mean is that I understand the death penalty, but I am still on the fence about it. I can't imagine being able to actually flip the switch on a human being. If I can't bring myself to do it, how can I expect others to do it?

That's kind if how I view the waterboard/torture question. I wouldn't feel it was right for me to do it. I wouldn't want my son to have to do it. So, how can I be for it. Why should I make someone else do what I consider to be wrong for me? Isn't that a little too convenient?


PS. I hate how blogger associates your e-mail with your blogger account. I have multiple accounts for different purposes and hate discovering that I started to comment before I remembered I was using my other account.