This makes me ill. If you ever needed even more argument that waterboarding is indeed torture of the most insidious and despicable kind (precisely because some people don’t think it is torture and condoned it), go spelunking through these Salon memorandums on what was done to Guantanamo detainees.
… what should occur in each two-hour waterboarding ‘session.’ Interrogators were instructed to start pouring water right after a detainee exhaled, to ensure he inhaled water, not air, in his next breath. They could use their hands to ‘dam the runoff’ and prevent water from spilling out of a detainee’s mouth. They were allowed six separate 40-second ‘applications’ of liquid in each two-hour session - and could dump water over a detainee’s nose and mouth for a total of 12 minutes a day. Finally, to keep detainees alive even if they inhaled their own vomit during a session - a not-uncommon side effect of waterboarding - the prisoners were kept on a liquid diet. The agency recommended Ensure Plus.
The most frightening thing is the doctors who would revive people only to have them tortured again. Why does this always deeply remind me of those Skinner experiments where someone in a white lab coat calmly tells someone to shock a subject past an obviously marked dangerous level?
I still can’t believe no war crimes have ever been leveled against the US for this. Such an incredibly dark time for a nation that was supposed to be a beacon of human rights even in a time of crisis.