Tuesday, October 30, 2007

The Definitive Case Against Waterboarding

Small Wars Journal blogger Malcolm Nance has what I would hope is the definitive argument that waterboarding is torture. Nance's bio is impressive. He is "a counter-terrorism and terrorism intelligence consultant for the U.S. government’s Special Operations, Homeland Security and Intelligence agencies" as well as "a 20-year veteran of the US intelligence community's Combating Terrorism program and a six year veteran of the Global War on Terrorism."

This should be a no-brainer. In my own work in South Africa I have seen how simulated drowning and suffocation were a popular means of inflicting pain and suffering -- of torturing -- alleged enemies of the state. Examples abound of other totalitarian regimes -- regimes against which the United States has always tried to define itself -- engaging in similar behaviors. I can see no justification for waterboarding and its ilk, and I do not see how illegitimate, indeed evil, means help us fight legitimate wars, never mind highly contested ones.

Hat Tip to Christopher Orr at The Plank

1 comment:

Steve Dunkley said...

I believe you are completely missing the point of the Cheney/Rumsfeld doctrine of "redefining" torture. Waterboarding (it's official) is now "aggressive semantics"