Believe Me, It’s Torture” by Christopher Hitchens
Christopher Hitchens tells a story of volunteering go through some of the training SERE (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) that some of the members of the Special Forces have gone through. The author explores what real waterboarding was like in a controlled environment where he could stop it at any time.
The author recounts every aspect of his waterboarding experience from the physical aspect of having his hands cuffed to his belt a black hood placed over his face and then being carried into a room and strapped down onto a sloping board. Then have the mental and emotional aspect of fear of the unknown and the bright lights, loud music and then the panic as the water pours over his face, and the feeling of being drowned slowly.
Some of the arguments against waterboarding from Mr. Malcolm Nance who has been involved with the SERE program since 1997 are:
1. “Water boarding is a deliberate torture technique and has been prosecuted as such by our judicial arm when perpetrated by others”.
2. “If we allow it and justify it, we cannot complain if it is employed in the future by other regimes on captive U.S. citizens. It is a method of putting American prisoners in harm’s way”.
3. “It may be a means of extracting information, but it’s also a means of extracting junk information”.
4. “It opens a door that cannot be closed. Once u have posed the notorious “ticking bomb” question, and once you assume” that you are in the right, what will you not do? Waterboarding not getting results fast enough the terrorist clock still ticking? Well, then, bring on the thumbscrews and the pincers and the electrodes and the rack.
The conclusion from the author is any call to indict the United States for torture is therefore a lame diseased attempt to arrive at a moral equivalence between those who defend civilization and those who exploit its freedoms to hollow