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Waterboarding

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Garrell Hughes
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« on: October 19, 2007, 10:30:27 am »



Painting of waterboarding from Cambodia's Tuol Sleng Prison



Waterboarding is a form of torture[1][2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9] which consists of immobilizing an individual and pouring water over his or her face to simulate drowning. Waterboarding has been used to obtain information, coerce confessions, and also to punish, and/or intimidate. It elicits the gag reflex, and can make the subject believe his or her death is imminent while not causing physical evidence of torture.

The practice garnered renewed attention and notoriety in September 2006 when further reports charged that the Bush administration had authorized the use of waterboarding on extrajudicial prisoners of the United States, often referred to as "detainees" in the U.S. war on terror.[10] ABC News reported that current and former CIA officers stated that "there is a presidential finding, signed in 2002, by President Bush, Condoleezza Rice and then-Attorney General John Ashcroft approving the 'enhanced' interrogation techniques, including water boarding."[11] According to Republican United States Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, waterboarding is "torture", "no different than holding a pistol to his head and firing a blank" and can damage the subject's psyche "in ways that may never heal."[12]. US Vice President Dick Cheney has endorsed the technique for terror suspects, saying it was a "no-brainer" if the information it yielded would save American lives. [13]

« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 10:37:06 am by Garrell Hughes » Report Spam   Logged

Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2007, 10:30:52 am »

The waterboarding technique, characterized in 2005 by former CIA director Porter J. Goss as a "professional interrogation technique,"[14] is described as follows by journalist Julia Layton:

Water boarding as it is currently described involves strapping a person to an inclined board, with his feet raised and his head lowered. The interrogators bind the person's arms and legs so he can't move at all, and they cover his face. In some descriptions, the person is gagged, and some sort of cloth covers his nose and mouth; in others, his face is wrapped in cellophane. The interrogator then repeatedly pours water onto the person's face. Depending on the exact setup, the water may or may not actually get into the person's mouth and nose; but the physical experience of being underneath a wave of water seems to be secondary to the psychological experience. The person's mind believes he is drowning, and his gag reflex kicks in as if he were choking on all that water falling on his face.[15]

CIA officers who subject themselves to the technique last an average of 14 seconds before caving in.[16]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2007, 10:31:20 am »

Effects

Poorly executed waterboarding can cause extreme pain and damage to the lungs, brain damage caused by oxygen deprivation, and sometimes broken bones because of the restraints applied to the struggling victim. The psychological effects can last long after waterboarding ends. Prolonged waterboarding can also cause death. [17]

Dr. Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/N.Y.U. Program for Survivors of Torture, has treated "a number of people" who had been subjected to forms of near-asphyxiation, including waterboarding. An interview for The New Yorker states, "[He] argued that it was indeed torture. 'Some victims were still traumatized years later', he said. One patient couldn't take showers, and panicked when it rained. 'The fear of being killed is a terrifying experience,' he said."[18]

Proponents argue that the technique effectively produces information while only being used as a last resort to obtain critical information. They also argue that there is almost no risk of long-term bodily harm.[19] Opponents argue that this information may not be reliable because a person under such duress may admit to anything. The UN Convention Against Torture, which the United States ratified in 1994 [1], says in Article 2: "No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture." Former CIA officer Bob Baer states that waterboarding is "bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough." [20]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2007, 10:31:50 am »

Historical uses

Spanish Inquisition

From the article about the Spanish Inquisition (1478-1834, with its most active period from 1480-1530), a form of torture similar to waterboarding called toca, along with garrucha (or strappado) and the most frequently used potro (or the rack), was used (though infrequently) during the trial portion of the Spanish Inquisition process. Quoting from the article: The toca, also called tortura del agua, consisted of introducing a cloth into the mouth of the victim, and forcing them to ingest water spilled from a jar so that they had impression of drowning.[21]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2007, 10:32:15 am »

Colonial Times

Agents of the Dutch East India Company used a precursor to waterboarding during the Amboyna Massacre in 1623. At that time, it consisted of wrapping cloth around a victim's head, after which the torturers "poured the water softly upon his head until the cloth was full, up to the mouth and nostrils, and somewhat higher, so that he could not draw breath but he must suck in all the water."[22] In one case, the torturer applied water three or four times successively until the victim's "body was swollen twice or thrice as big as before, his cheeks like great bladders, and his eyes staring and strutting out beyond his forehead." [23]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2007, 10:32:35 am »

World War II

During World War II, Japanese troops, especially the Kempeitai, used waterboarding as a method of torture. During the Double Tenth Incident, waterboarding consisted of binding or holding down the victim on his back, placing a cloth over his mouth and nose, and pouring water onto the cloth. In this version, interrogation continued during the torture, with the interrogators beating the victim if he did not reply and the victim swallowing water if he opened his mouth to answer or breathe; when the victim could ingest no more water, the interrogators would beat or jump on his distended stomach.[24] [2]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2007, 10:33:08 am »

Vietnam War

In 1968, during the Vietnam War, the Washington Post published a controversial photograph of American soldiers waterboarding a North Vietnamese POW near Da Nang. [3] Another waterboarding photograph of the same scene is also exhibited in the War Remnants Museum at Ho Chi Minh City. [4]

Khmer Rouge

The Khmer Rouge at Tuol Sleng used waterboarding as a method of torture between 1975 and 1979. Former inmate Vann Nath painted a depiction of the torture. [5]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2007, 10:33:51 am »

Contemporary use

Use by the George W. Bush Administration

Many reports say that the United States used waterboarding to interrogate prisoners captured in its "War on Terrorism". In November 2005, ABC News reported that former CIA agents claimed that the CIA engaged in a modern form of waterboarding, along with five other "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques", against suspected members of al Qaeda.

On July 20, 2007 U.S. President George W. Bush signed an executive order banning torture during interrogation of terror suspects. [25] While the guidelines for interrogation[26] do not specifically ban waterboarding, the executive order refers to torture as defined by 18 USC 2340, which includes "the threat of imminent death," as well as the U.S. constitution's ban on cruel and unusual punishment. Reaction to the order was mixed, with the CIA satisfied that it "clearly defined" the agency's authorities, but Human Rights Watch saying that answer about what specific techniques had been banned lay in the classified companion document and that "the people in charge of interpreting [that] document don't have a particularly good track record of reasonable legal analysis."[27]

On September 14, 2007 ABC News reported that sometime in 2006 CIA Director Michael Hayden asked for and received permission from "the White House" to ban the use of waterboarding in CIA interrogations. The source of information is current and former CIA officials. ABC reported that waterboarding had been authorized by a 2002 Presidential finding.[28]

On October 24, 2006 during a radio interview with Scott Hennen of radio station WDAY, Vice President Dick Cheney seemed to agree with the use of waterboarding.[29] The following are the questions and answers at issue, excerpted from the White House transcript of the interview:[30]

Hennen: "...And I've had people call and say, please, let the Vice President know that if it takes dunking a terrorist in water, we're all for it, if it saves American lives. Again, this debate seems a little silly given the threat we face, would you agree?"
Cheney: "I do agree. And I think the terrorist threat, for example, with respect to our ability to interrogate high value detainees like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, that's been a very important tool that we've had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information about how many there are, about how they plan, what their training processes are and so forth, we've learned a lot. We need to be able to continue that."
...
Hennen: "Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?"
Cheney: "Well, it's a no-brainer for me, but for a while there I was criticized as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in."

The White House later denied that Cheney had confirmed the use of waterboarding, saying that U.S. officials do not talk publicly about interrogation techniques because they are classified. White House Press Secretary Tony Snow said that Cheney was not referring to waterboarding, but only to a "dunk in the water", prompting one reporter to ask, "So dunk in the water means, what, we have a pool now at Guantanamo and they go swimming?" Tony Snow replied, "You doing stand-up?"[31]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2007, 10:34:15 am »

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed

Several accounts reported that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM) was waterboarded while being interrogated by the CIA. According to the Bush Administration, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed divulged information of tremendous value during his detention. He is said to have helped point the way to the capture of Hambali, the Indonesian terrorist responsible for the 2002 bombings of night clubs in Bali. He also, according to the Bush Administration, provided information on an Al Qaeda leader in England.[32] On October 24, 2006 during a radio interview with Scott Hennen of radio station WDAY, Vice President Dick Cheney agreed with the use of waterboarding, specifically mentioning Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.[33] On September 13, 2007 ABC News reported that a former intelligence officer stated that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed had been waterboarded in the presence of a female CIA supervisor.[34]

Captured along with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was a letter from bin Laden[35] which led officials to think that he knew where the Al Qaeda founder was hiding.[36]

According to sources familiar with a private interview of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he claimed to have been waterboarded five times.[37] "A CIA official told ABC News that he had been water-boarded, and had won the admiration of his interrogators because it took him two to two-and-half minutes to start confessing - well beyond the average of 14 seconds observed in others"[38]. This is disputed by two former C.I.A. officers who are reportedly friends with one of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed interrogators called this bravado, and who claimed that he was waterboarded only once. According to one of the officers, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed needed only to be shown the drowning equipment again before he “broke.” “Waterboarding works,” the former officer said. “Drowning is a baseline fear. So is falling. People dream about it. It’s human nature. Suffocation is a very scary thing. When you’re waterboarded, you’re inverted, so it exacerbates the fear. It’s not painful, but it scares the **** out of you.” (The former officer was waterboarded himself in a training course.) Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, he claimed, “didn’t resist. He sang right away. He cracked real quick.” He said, “A lot of them want to talk. Their egos are unimaginable. KSM was just a little doughboy. He couldn’t stand toe to toe and fight it out.”[39] After being subjected to waterboarding, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed claimed involvement in thirty-one terrorist plots.[40]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2007, 10:35:06 am »

Legality
International law

All countries that are signatory to the UN Convention Against Torture have agreed they are subjected to the explicit prohibition on torture under any condition, and as such there exists no legal exception under this treaty. (The treaty states, No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.) Additionally, signatories of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also agreed to its Article 5, which states, No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.
[edit] United States
•   On September 6, 2006, the United States Department of Defense released a revised Army Field Manual entitled Human Intelligence Collector Operations that prohibits the use of waterboarding by U.S. military personnel. The department adopted the manual amid widespread criticism of U.S. handling of prisoners in the War on Terrorism, and prohibits other practices in addition to waterboarding. The revised manual applies to U.S. military personnel, and as such does not apply to the practices of the CIA.[41] Nevertheless, under international law any person violating the laws of war is criminally liable under the command responsibility and could still be prosecuted for war crimes.[42]
•   In its 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. Department of State formally recognized "submersion of the head in water" as torture in its examination of Tunisia's poor human rights record, [43] and critics of waterboarding draw parallels between the two techniques, citing the similar usage of water on the subject.
•   In an older case, the United States prosecuted a Japanese military officer, Yukio Asano, in 1947 for carrying out a form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian during World War II. Yukio Asano received a sentence of 15 years of hard labor.[44] The charges of Violation of the Laws and Customs of War against Asano also included "beating using hands, fists, club; kicking; burning using cigarettes; strapping on a stretcher head downward."[45]
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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2007, 10:35:30 am »

Reliability of forced confessions

Harsh interrogation techniques lead to false confessions according to some experts. 'The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law,' claims John Sifton of Human Rights Watch'." It is "bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough," said former CIA officer Bob Baer[46]. The Independent reports that "legal experts said [KSM] appeared to be exaggerating his role for his own self-aggrandisement and may also have deliberately floated false claims to send US investigators on wild goose chases."[47]

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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2007, 10:36:10 am »

Waterboarding in popular culture

•   The Robin Williams movie Jakob the Liar depicts the Waffen SS of the Third Reich using a historical form of waterboarding.
•   The Patrick Robinson novel USS Seawolf and the 2006 Robert De Niro film The Good Shepherd features some dramatised details of the modern form of waterboarding.
•   In an episode of E-Ring entitled "Hard Sell", a member of the team is subjected to waterboarding. The episode itself is a dialogue on the debate of the use of torture to obtain information that might save other lives.
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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2007, 10:36:45 am »

References

1.   ^ In April 2006, in a letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez., more than 100 U.S. law professors stated unequivocally that waterboarding is torture, and is a criminal felony punishable under the U.S. federal criminal code.
2.   ^ According to Republican United States Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, waterboarding is "torture, no different than holding a pistol to his head and firing a blank" and can damage the subject's psyche "in ways that may never heal." - Torture's Terrible Toll, Newsweek, November 21, 2005. | http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10019179/site/newsweek/page/2/ ]
3.   ^ In its 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, the U.S. Department of State formally recognizes "submersion of the head in water" as torture in its examination of Tunisia's poor human rights record, U.S. Department of State (2005). "Tunisia". Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. 
4.   ^ A former senior official in the directorate of operations is quoted (in full) as saying: "'Of course it was torture. Try it and you'll see.'" Another "former higher-up in the directorate of operations" said "'Yes, it's torture'". At pp. 225-26, in Stephen Grey (2006). Ghost Plane: The True Story of the CIA Torture Program. New York City: St. Martin's Press.
5.   ^ Chapter 18 United States Code, section 2340
6.   ^ UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1984 Signatories 74, Parties 136, As of 23 April 2004
7.   ^ Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court Article 7, "Crimes against humanity" Definition of torture 7-2:e
8.   ^ Endgame on Torture: Time to Call the Bluff Waterboarding has been torture for at least 500 years. All of us know that torture is going on.
9.   ^ Former US President Jimmy Carter stated "The United States tortures prisoners in violation of international law" and continued "I don't think it.... I know it" in a CNN interview on October the 10th 2007
10.   ^ "Variety of Interrogation Techniques Said to Be Authorized by CIA" by Brian Ross and Richard Esposito, September 6, 2006
11.   ^ "History of an Interrogation Technique: Water Boarding" ABC News, November 29, 2005
12.   ^ Torture's Terrible Toll, Newsweek, November 21, 2005
13.   ^ Cheney endorses simulated drowning, "Financial Times" October 26, 2006
14.   ^ Human Rights Watch, CIA Whitewashing Torture: Statements by Goss Contradict U.S. Law and Practice, November 21, 2005.
15.   ^ What is Waterboarding?
16.   ^ Ross, Brian; Richard Esposito (May 19 2006). "CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described". abcnews.go.com. 
17.   ^ Open Letter to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales by Human Rights News
18.   ^ Mayer, Jane (February 7 2005). "Outsourcing Torture". The New Yorker. 
19.   ^ http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/ReadArticle.asp?ID=24653
20.   ^ http://abcnews.go.com/WNT/Investigation/story?id=1322866
21.   ^ Scott, George Ryley, The History of Torture Throughout the Ages, p.172, Columbia University Press (2003) ISBN 0-7103-0837-X
22.   ^ From A True Relation of the Unjust, Cruel and Barbarous Proceedings against the English at Amboyna (1624), cited in Milton, Giles, Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History (Spectre, 1999, 328); spellings have been modernized. Also cited with variations in Keay, John, The Honourable Company: A History of the English East India Company (HarperCollins, 1993, 49); and Kerrigan, Michael, The Instruments of Torture (Spellmount, 2001, 85). See also excerpts from A memento for Holland (1652) at Blogging the Renaissance
23.   ^ Ibid, cited in Milton 328-9, Keay 49 and Kerrigan 85. Spellings have been modernized.
24.   ^ Sidhu, H. The Bamboo Fortress: True Singapore War Stories (Native, 1991, 113), a paraphrase of testimony presented during the Double Tenth war crimes trial. Some of this testimony has been transcribed and posted at Yawning Bread.
25.   ^ "Bush bans terror suspect torture" BBC News July 20, 2007 http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6909331.stm
26.   ^ http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2007/07/20070720-4.html
27.   ^ Greg Miller, Bush signs new CIA interrogation rules, Los Angeles Times, July 21, 2007.
28.   ^ ABC The Blotter
29.   ^ Unbossed.com
30.   ^ White House Transcript of Dick Cheney Interview
31.   ^ Press Briefing by Tony Snow
32.   ^ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mayer?printable=true
33.   ^ Unbossed.com
34.   ^ ABC The Blotter
35.   ^ http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2007-03-16-ksm-aq_N.htm
36.   ^ http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/03/02/mohammed.biog/
37.   ^ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=8
38.   ^ Confessions of 9/11 architect backfires on US The Independent, March 18, 2007
39.   ^ http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2007/08/13/070813fa_fact_mayer?currentPage=8
40.   ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/6452789.stm
41.   ^ Jelinek, Pauline (September 6 2006). "Army Bans Some Interrogation Techniques". Associated Press. 
42.   ^ Report on command responsibility for detainee abuse JURIST, April 24, 2005
43.   ^ U.S. Department of State (2005). "Tunisia". Country Reports on Human Rights Practices. 
44.   ^ Pincus, Walter, "Waterboarding Historically Controversial; In 1947, the U.S. Called It a War Crime; in 1968, It Reportedly Caused an Investigation" Washington Post, 10/5/2006, pg. A17. viewed 10/5/2006
45.   ^ Case Defendant: Asano, Yukio from Case Synopses from Judge Advocate's Reviews Yokohama Class B and C War Crimed Trials. Accessed on March 7 2006
46.   ^ Ross, Brian & Esposito, Richard. CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described - Sources Say Agency's Tactics Lead to Questionable Confessions, Sometimes to Death, November 18, 2005
47.   ^ Confessions of 9/11 architect backfires on US The Independent, March 18, 2007
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Garrell Hughes
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2007, 10:38:56 am »

This is what is being done in your name, America, the question being, how many of you actually want it to be done in your name? 

This, along with illegal wiretapping, rendition, the elimination of habeas corpus, are all the things that America is NOT supposed to stand for.

Get mad, get even and get these criminals the hell out of here.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2007, 10:40:49 am by Garrell Hughes » Report Spam   Logged
Elmer Jessup
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« Reply #14 on: October 20, 2007, 03:39:58 am »

Now listen here, young fella! America does not torture.  If George says it, is good enough for me.
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"I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance." - LUKE 5:32
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