There has been a flurry of talk radio comments, blog posts, and news discussions regarding the practice of waterboarding for the purpose of gaining information from captured terrorists. Many say that this is a horrible torture that should be banned by any nation that claims to be humane and decent.
Folks, waterboarding is no big deal. U.S. military students going through Survival, Escape, Resistance, and Evation (SERE) School are routinely waterboarded. I was waterboarded during my prison camp training and, believe me, though it’s scarry, it’s not dangerous.
The practice is to place a person “upside-down” on a board that’s inclined about 20-30 degrees from horizontal. Then a wet cloth, in my case, my tee shirt, is stretched over the subject’s face. Then water is poured onto the cloth. The subject can still breathe, but the subject’s mind fools the subject into thinking that he’s drowning. Thinking you are drowning makes it scary; breathing makes it not dangerous.
I wouldn’t volunteer to do it again, but I wouldn’t withhold the practice just because it seems scary or because some incorrectly claim it’s inhumane. I say prevent the next attack on the U.S. homeland.
© 2006 – 2008, J. M. Erickson. All rights reserved.