It Gets Worse

So today our new Attorney General is questioned by the Senate. Still refusing to make a clear statement on whether or not waterboarding is torture, continued questioning extracted the response that the legality of waterboarding would depend on the value of the intelligence gained.

Is this really still the United States of America? It appears the end justifies the means, no matter how ugly and beyond our supposed value system said means is.

It is still common to hear waterboarding referred to in the media as "simulated drowning." I recently heard a security specialist interviewed, a man whose career included training at-risk military personnel to deal with enemy capture. He had undergone a waterboarding to get a full understanding of what it was about. As he described it, the subject is strapped to a board, unable to resist, and water is introduced into his system via the nostrils. Water fills the nasal passages, esophagus, and eventually the lungs. He quite emphatically pointed out that filling the lungs with water is drowning -- there is nothing simulated about it. The subject lives only because at some point there is intervention to get him to cough up the water and start breathing again.

I am utterly amazed that an appointee of the party favored by those who like to rant about the evils of moral relativism should state such a Machiavellian position. It's this sort of blatant hypocrisy that is causing the rest of the world -- even our "friends and allies" -- to distance themselves. We appear hell-bent on becoming the kind of abusive power-crazed country we used to despise in the cold war era.

D. W. Thomas 30 January 2008