Monday, November 05, 2007

Waterboarding, is it torture?

Of course it is. And it's not a new technique either; the French used waterboarding during their occupation of Algeria in 1950s and 1960s (first used during the Spanish Inquisition).

86 year-old French journalist Henry Alleg describes at Democracy Now! how he was subjected to waterboarding by the French during the war for Algerian independence:

HENRI ALLEG: Well, I was put on a plank, on a board, fastened to it and taken to a tap. And my face was covered with a rag. Very quickly, the rag was completely full of water. And, of course, you have the impression of being drowned. [..]

So, very quickly, the water ran all over my face. I couldn’t, of course, breathe. And after a few minutes, fighting against the impression of getting drowned, you can’t resist. And you feel as if you were drowning yourself. And this is a terrible impression of coming very near death. And so, when the paratroopers, the torturers, see that you’re drowning, they would stop, let you breathe, and try again. So that impression of getting near to death, every time they helped you to come back to life by breathing, it’s a terrible, terrible impression of torture and of death, being near death. So, that was my impression.
In other news:
Protesters staged a waterboarding Monday outside the Justice Department (Washington, calling for a Senate committee to reject attorney general nominee Michael Mukasey because of his reluctance to define the interrogation tactic as torture.
So much for human rights in America.

- Democracy now: French Journalist Henri Alleg Describes His Torture Being Waterboarded by French Forces During Algerian War
- LA Times: Mukasey Protesters Act Out Waterboarding


Raphael Alexander said...

That's horrible. I think it's reprehensible this would be used in modern times.

Erik said...

Yes, I agree. It shows what kind of maniacs are "governing" the country.

And worst of all, they all have been able to get away with it. And nobody knows when the first higher ranked official involved in the practice of torture will be prosecuted.

Torture for the suppressed and "freedom" to torture for the Americans; what a lovely country.

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