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Torture or interrogation?

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Warning: This post was published more than 10 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 10 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Essential reading, part one:

Dick Cheney, US vice-president, has endorsed the use of “water boarding” for terror suspects and confirmed that the controversial interrogation technique was used on Khaled Sheikh Mohammed, the senior al-Qaeda operative now being held at Guantánamo Bay… Mr Cheney was responding to a conservative radio interviewer who asked whether water boarding, which involves simulated drowning, was a “no-brainer” if the information it yielded would save American lives. “It’s a no-brainer for me,” Mr Cheney replied.

Essential reading, part two:

The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner’s face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt. According to the sources, CIA officers who subjected themselves to the water boarding technique lasted an average of 14 seconds before caving in.

Essential viewing (disturbing scenes).

These sources certainly don’t show the USA as a flag-waving leader of the free world, ever going to new lengths to promote freedom. They look like the works of a barbaric mediaeval dictatorship. As they say, if it has feathers and quacks like a duck…

Waterboarding and other forms of torture should be outlawed. Full stop. Whether we call them torture or not is irrelevant – stop doing them. We might be suffering Jack Bauer syndrome, but we should stop taking it out on others. It is unacceptable, and needs to stop now.

This 987th post was filed under: News and Comment.






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 4th March 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 6th February 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 31st December 2016)

National shock as 75% fail A-Levels (published 20th August 2007)

Emiliana Torrini: Fisherman’s Woman (published 21st February 2005)

Embarrassment about mental health costs lives (published 16th July 2007)

Photo-a-day 98: Peacock Hall (published 1st May 2014)


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