Waterboarding for frauds

July 4, 2008 at 12:21 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

FAO Michael Otterman: This is how you criticise Hitchens’ little waterboarding experiment:

Of course if Hitchens had been a real Iraqi suspect, they’d never have had to waterboard him at all. They do that to tough suspects, not wimps like him. In a real torture cell, everything would be a lot tougher from the start. For example, Chris wouldn’t be in the nice dress shirt and slacks he’s wearing on the video. He’d be naked — a gross image, what a lifetime of booze and lying does to the body, but we have to be hard-nosed here — because keeping the prisoner naked is basic interrogation strategy, especially with a culture as horrified of gettin’ nekkid as Arabs are. You’ll recall that in those Abu Ghraib pictures, the prisoners were naked.

So that’s fake already, and the video gets faker as it goes. The guys “interrogating” him are fat, middle-aged, mild-mannered dudes. They don’t even yell at him. A real suspect in Iraq would be snatched off the street, smacked around until he passes out, stripped and dumped into a cell with a hood over his head. He wouldn’t be able to sleep off his misery, either, because sleep deprivation is one of the oldest, most effective tortures. The interrogators would maintain this schedule for hours, days, weeks, depending on how well and how soon the victim breaks down. When they think he’s ready — like, they notice with satisfaction that he screams like a steam whistle every time he hears footsteps in the corridor — they drag him out of his cell and strap him onto that waterboarding table.

So what you need to remember when you read Hitchens’ piece is: yes, that’s awful. And real waterboarding is many, many times worse.

More here.

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