Friday, September 29, 2006

Waterboarding OK? Demonstrate it on YouTube, Then.

Vasko Kohlmayer, a writer for, has endorsed waterboarding:
Waterboarding, on the other hand, is fleeting in duration with the actual discomfort lasting seldom more than a couple of minutes. And since a man can be safely deprived of oxygen for at least twice as long, there is almost no risk of long-term harm. The possibility of injury is further reduced by the fact that the procedure calls for no direct physical contact between the subject and his interrogators. Not even as much as pushing or chest slapping is required at any time, making waterboarding one of the safest and least confrontational among interrogation methods. Involving the lowest risk of long-term harm and the least amount of cumulative discomfort, it is also the most humane. Most importantly, it is the most effective.

I doubt this writer would voluntarily waterboard or be waterboarded himself. Yet all we really need for a demonstration of waterboarding(assuming even a demonstration is morally permissible) is a stuntman, a trained medical professional, and a filming crew willing to post their film on YouTube. A fictional portrayal of waterboarding is already on display at that site. Since some apologists argue the method is not that bad, perhaps we can observe for ourselves what some endorse in the abstract and get a reaction from a "subject" who can speak our language in the Fear Factor style to which we have become so inured.

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