Whether Waterboarding is Torture Isn’t Up for Debate

Larger questions loom with last week’s release of documents detailing our extensive use of torture in interrogation tactics. Not among them is whether waterboarding is torture.

I’ve sought out several video clips and first-person accounts of what it’s like to be waterboarded. Christopher Hitchens filed this last year for Vantiy Fair, while more recently, Playboy.com journalists Mike Guy attempted to withstand 15 seconds of waterboarding. (These videos aren’t what I would call graphic, but I imagine if you’ve endured the torture, it’s a little haunting.)

I can’t say I’m particularly pleased with these documents being released right now with all that’s going on in the economy. I worry it’s a spin move by the Obama Administration to remove some of the attention and criticism received from the president’s recent trip to Europe. If it’s a political play, shame on the administration. That said, am I for pursuing charges against Bush Administration higher-ups? Yes – as long as it’s not a three-ring circus or never-ending ordeal.

In other developments, Fox News pundit/idiot Sean Hannity has tried to downplay the seriousness of waterboarding, saying he will do it himself to raise money for charity. MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann has since called Hannity’s bluff, offering $1,000 for each second Hannity can withstand. Elsewhere, I suspect sadistic frat boys wonder how effective beerboarding would be as an intitiation ritual.

Never thought I would do this, but I’m going to – (holds back vomit) – quote Fox News anchor Shepherd Smith: “We are AMERICA! We do not f#%king torture!”

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