Wednesday, November 07, 2007
Torture or theater
Is "waterboarding" torture? A vexing debate has raged over the question for several years now, but here's an Associated Press report from Monday that ought to settle the question once and for all:
Anti-war protesters are hoping a demonstration of waterboarding will convince a Senate committee to reject Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey (myoo-KAY'-zee).
Mukasey has repeatedly refused to say whether he considers the interrogation technique that simulates drowning a form of torture.
About 25 protesters set up the demonstration outside the Justice Department's headquarters. They poured water over the face of a volunteer as he lay on his back; he was reduced to retching coughs and tears in less than four minutes.
By the time of this demonstration, Sens. Chuck Schumer and Dianne Feinstein had already announced their support for Mukasey, which means his confirmation was assured. It is preposterous to call this procedure "torture" when people are willing to undergo it merely in order to make a futile political gesture.