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Friday, May 22, 2009

Waterboarding Is Torture: Shut Up and Watch

Hat tip to SD Humanist:

Chicago radio host Erich "Mancow" Muller said waterboarding wasn't torture. He agreed to have a U.S. Marine waterboard him live on air to prove it. Six seconds in, he changed his mind.

Waterboarding is torture.


  1. Now only if Dick and Liz Cheney would be willing to give it a try.

  2. If someone were to blow up your parents and make it clear they were coming to blow up and kill the rest of your family, how would you recommend finding out who is involved and what their plan is? Open up a constructive dialogue?

    Nobody has been killed through waterboarding interrogation. Some countries would consider this style of information gathering rather mild compared to what they currently do to their own people or enemies.

    It's not right to mildly torture anyone if another method works more effectively, but when fanatics declare their intent to kill all Americans, there could be worse examples than this demonstration.

  3. And that's why we don't put crime victims in charge of the investigation. We're still a country of laws, not raging vengeance. And if the point is to get useful information, no one yet has established that torture works.

    I might also suggest that the emotion Rod seems to offer as a valid basis for torture is a far greater threat to the rule of law and morality than President Obama's statement, much maligned by his opponents, that Supreme Court justices ought to rule with "empathy."

  4. Rod's hypothetical gets me thinking about an actual situation: I once witnessed someone, a student, make a clear threat toward another student whom I felt obliged, personally and professionally, to protect. I called the bully aside, and when the bully refused to listen, I used physical force, not to get information out of the bully, but to ensure that some information got across to him. I grabbed the student's shirt collar and suggested he come back in the room to finish the conversation. I say "suggested", not pulled, because I knew I didn't really have the heft to pull a kid who outweighed me by a few dozen pounds anywhere. I lost my job because of that action. It also seems that the action failed to get the message across -- as I understand it, the bully continued his ways and ended up in prison.

    I won't argue hard that there's a moral equivalence between bullying and terrorism (or killing my family). The bully's action was well short of killing. My action was well short of torture. But perhaps my readers will enjoy sorting out the moral comparison.

  5. Rod is making the argument that the ends justify the means. It's been my experience they never do.

  6. It seems we cherish our U.S. values when they are convenient. And they sound so nice to say to elementary school children. But do they really mean anything?

  7. I'm simply referring to the video you provided on your blog.

    Six seconds of a beaker of water pouring over a radio announcer's face, known as waterboarding, is not torture in comparison to our soldiers being torn apart by powerful roadside bombs that leave them missing limbs, shredded faces, brain injuries and death.

    Look at those ripped, scarred faces, then compare what those soldiers have to endure for the rest of their lives to a few seconds of water interrogation.

    The point is that religious fanatics are plotting to kill us, or as many of us as they can, and we need to know how and when before it happens again.

  8. "Nobody has been killed through waterboarding interrogation."

    When children are sexually abused, often that is simple stimulation using a person's tongue. How could that be abuse?

  9. Those ripped scarred faces are the result of someone so arrogant to think they know better.

  10. John's making a really good point here. Torture is torture, regardless of whatever the rat-bastards we're doing it to did. We gave Hermann Goehring a trial and didn't torture him, and Goehring was a far more vile criminal who did much more evil than anyone we have locked up at Gitmo.

  11. John's making a really good point here. Torture is torture, regardless of whatever the rat-bastards we're doing it to did. We gave Hermann Goehring a trial and didn't torture him, and Goehring was a far more vile criminal who did much more evil than anyone we have locked up at Gitmo.

    5/25/2009 8:48 AM

    There was no need to torture Hermann Goehring, we were not looking for information to stp terroists attacks.

    I watched the video, I hardly call that torture. If enhanced interogation techniques do not work, and if we gain no useful information from them, then why won't the Obama administration release the documents on the results of enhanced interogation to prove it?

    One other thing only 3 terroists have been the subject of water boarding, not hundreds as seems to be suggested.

    Why is there no discussion about the lies from Pelosi concerning water boarding?

    And John just what does child abuse have to do with water boarding, try to stay on topic

  12. "hardly call that torture" -- you know, I wouldn't think so either. After all, Muller is surrounded by colleagues, people he trusts. He's not being held against his will by foreigners. He hasn't been in detention without formal charges for months. He's not being grilled for information he might or might not have. He's undergoing one isolated incident of water being poured on his face.

    And yet, after just six seconds, this vocal manly-man conservative emerges visibly shaken and is willing to reverse his previous public statement. I can't imagine a clearer demonstration, short of doing it to you personally (and I will not do that), that this particular interrogation tactic is torture.

    By the way, John is perfectly on topic. He makes an apt analogy that no one has been able to respond to. The Man/Boy Love crowd can use all sorts of euphemisms for having sex with children, but it's still abuse. The Cheney crowd can use all sorts of euphemisms for their "interrogation tactics," but it's still torture.

    There is no need to torture anybody. Not for information. Not for revenge. Not for justice.

  13. In my opinion, the response is nothing but drama. All hyped up for the camera. I have been a part of countless accesents over the years and I know drama or BS when I see it.

    Istill fail to see the connection between sexual abuse and so called trture, but also in my opinion sexual predators should be removed from society permanently.

    As far as Cheney goes, I think he makes a pretty good argument why waterboarding should be used.

    Sorry, Corey you and I will have to agree to disagree, I do not think water boarding is torture. Pulling out ones finger nails is, beating to the point of breaking bones is, inserting foreign objects under finger/toe nails is, waterboarding is not.

  14. "Nothing but drama"? Seems a rather convenient dismissal of a source who agreed with you just a couple weeks ago.


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