So now I am going to jump on the waterboarding discussion bandwagon, but not to share my views about it. I've got some facts and even a video to help you decide if waterboarding is torture.
Tonight on 360° it was quite a big topic and Anderson even talked to former Navy Seal and reporter Kaj Larsen, who was waterboarded. Back during World War II Japan used waterboarding as a means of interrogation, we along with many other countries called it torture. A snippet from Anderson's blog says this:
"On the wall of Tuol Sleng prison in Cambodia there are pictures of how the Khmer Rouge used to torture prisoners. I've been to the museum a number of times, and it is a shocking place to go. One of the methods they used was waterboarding. Simulated drowning. It is surprising that the question of whether or not this is torture is one that has become a topic of debate on the campaign trail.
Years ago, when the Khmer Rouge was doing it, no one would have called it anything but torture. Now that the United States is doing it, apparently it's just a 'severe interrogation.' I would say, 'Funny how that happens,' but there is nothing funny about it. This President has repeatedly said, 'We don't torture.'"
However, Sen. John McCain seems to be one of the few who will say that it is indeed torture. In fact the government has always avoided the question and never acknowledged doing it or even whether it's torture or not. According to Jeffrey Toobin these types of means of interrogation will indeed make people talk but they will tell you things that could be true of false. But, without the use of torture it seems that people are more likely to get the truth.
Now onto Kaj Larsen, who had the brilliant idea to go waterboarding. He says that in order to induce drowing they stuff a rag in your mouth and close your nose. The rag prevents you from actually drowning because it absorbs most of the water so only a few drop go down your throat. Larsen said the feeling was like that of being "shackled to the bottom of a pool" and not being able to come up for air. Oh, and they keep your legs raised a little because that supposedly helps to keep you from actually drowning. However, when asked by Cooper if he thought waterboarding was a form of torture, he didn't directly answer it. But he did say "I was fearful for my life." In the case of Mr. Larsen it was all staged, he could say stop whenever he wanted, but knowing that didn't take the fear away. Here's a shortened video from current.com which is where he posted the video of his waterboarding. Just to let you know though, it's 10 minutes long, mostly of talking. And I know my video is bad quality. but it's showing what I wrote about above.