Tuesday, April 21, 2009

"If somebody can be water-tortured six times a day, then it isn't torture"

Mr. Limbaugh himself:

LIMBAUGH: The New York Times today has a story that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was waterboarded six times a day; 183 times, over 200 times total. And their source is a left-wing blogger. Now I'm going to tell you what's going to happen here with the drive-by media. By the way, greetings, folks, and welcome -- Rush Limbaugh back, and broadcast excellence, all yours, three hours, straight ahead. The telephone number if you want to join us today, (800) 282-2882; the email address, elrushbo at eibnet.com.

I'm going to give you the new-media model before I go on to this waterboarding point. The new-media model is going to be this: All these drive-by media outlets -- the mainstream media is cutting back on bureaus and reporters and so forth. And what's going to happen is -- it's already starting to happen. The New York Times, liberal media, TV and radio and newspapers and so forth, are going to start using bloggers as -- left-wing bloggers -- as credible sources for news.

Now, you stop and think about this: 183 times, six times a day, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was waterboarded. His lawyers never complained. He didn't complain to whatever civil rights organizations there were. And I'll tell you, the bottom -- if somebody can be water-tortured six times a day, then it isn't torture. Can we just establish that? If somebody can go through waterboarding for 183 times, six times a day -- which is a little bit hard to believe anyway, but let's acknowledge -- let's just say it's true for the sake of it, because whatever the left-wing blogs print and publish, the drive-by media is going to say is true anyway. Six times a day, it means you're not afraid of it. It means you -- it's not torture. If you have -- if you've found a way to withstand it, it can't possibly be torture.

I’m torn between being angry and just plain annoyed, but most of all I’m ashamed.

Not that a jack ass like Limbaugh would say something like this (he’s like the Jerry Springer of radio), but that there are people who actually think this way.

I’ve heard people compare water boarding to running through sprinklers and I can’t help but feel angered at the complete disrespect these people are showing towards the victims of torture.

I find it terribly embarrassing and frightening to say the least.

As I think of Limbaugh’s sweaty nasty ass mocking Senator McCain for being outspoken against the use of torture, which he was subjected to himself, I literally want to break something.

And knowing that people not only listen to Limbaugh’s show, but agree with him, makes me want to vomit.

Waterboarding is torture.


How people convince themselves any different is a mystery to me.

Sen Ted Kennedy:
Make no mistake about it: waterboarding is already illegal under United States law. It’s illegal under the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit outrages upon personal dignity, including cruel, humiliating and degrading treatment. It’s illegal under the Torture Act, which prohibits acts specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering. It’s illegal under the Detainee Treatment Act, which prohibits cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment. And it violates the Constitution. The nation's top military lawyers and legal experts across the political spectrum have condemned waterboarding as torture. And after World War II, the United States prosecuted -- prosecuted -- Japanese officers for engaging in waterboarding.

People like to think of waterboarding as “simulated drowning” (like that’s no big deal), but they’re wrong. It’s real drowning that simulates death.

Evan Wallach:
That term is used to describe several interrogation techniques. The victim may be immersed in water, have water forced into the nose and mouth, or have water poured onto material placed over the face so that the liquid is inhaled or swallowed. The media usually characterize the practice as "simulated drowning." That's incorrect. To be effective, waterboarding is usually real drowning that simulates death. That is, the victim experiences the sensations of drowning: struggle, panic, breath-holding, swallowing, vomiting, taking water into the lungs and, eventually, the same feeling of not being able to breathe that one experiences after being punched in the gut. The main difference is that the drowning process is halted. According to those who have studied waterboarding's effects, it can cause severe psychological trauma, such as panic attacks, for years.

I think this statement by Henri Alleg, a Frech journalist who was tortured with water boarding by the French military in Algeria in 1957, during an interview is as elequent a summation as I’ve ever heard:
Well, I have described the waterboarding I was submitted to. And no one can say, having passed through it, that this was not torture, especially when he has endured other types of torture—burning, electricity and beating, and so on. So I am really astonished that this is a big question in the States about this, because the real question is not waterboarding or not waterboarding, it’s the use of torture in such a war, and this use of torture, torture in general.

But to answer precisely your question, it is a terrible way of torturing a man, because you’re bringing—you bring him next to death and then back to life. And sometimes he doesn’t come back to life. So, the use of torture, in my opinion, is a way of making all people fear that if they fight, if they join the fighters against Algeria, they would undergo such a treatment. So it’s the use of terror against the people who fight. It’s not a way of getting whatever information; sometimes they get it, but most of the time it’s useless. So it is not a way of winning a war, even if the people who lead this war say that they have—it’s an obligation for them to use this method if they want victory at the end of the war. That’s my opinion.

…You feel that you’re going to die. Of course, you don’t want to die, and in the same time you don’t want to accept the conditions that they make around you to let you live. So, finally, at this third time, before I fainted, I was really decided to die and not to answer at any cost.

But once again, I’m really surprised that this is the big question put before the American opinion now and not another question: Is such a war a war that can be accepted with such—in such conditions and with such tools? Is it a civilized country that can use such things? And is the fact that this way of fighting—as some military say, it can’t be otherwise—is it acceptable? I think it is not acceptable, especially that the way to legalize such a way of fighting, some military say, we cannot do otherwise. It has no meaning at all. The people who lead a fight for freedom and liberty, even if some of them accept the conditions of the people who torture them, they help hundreds and thousands of other people to join the fight, because it appears to them as something that cannot be accepted by any man who thinks that his fight is honorable and justified.

It seems that the people who have actually been subjected to waterboarding have different feeling towards it then Mr. Limbaugh.

Harry Shear, at the Huffington Post, brought up two really good points:

1. If waterboarding is so instantly effective, why in the world would it need to be administered almost two-hundred times within a one-month period?

2. Abu Zubaydah was not the Al Qaeda mastermind advertised by the administration. Arguments about the wisdom of the techniques need to be informed by the fact that the United States radically overstated the importance of a man it subjected to what is widely believed to be torture almost 100 times.

For me this is a black and white issue.

Torture is wrong and no amount of propaganda or rationalization will change that reality.

Because this is more then an opinion. This is a moral measure of a person's character.

And far too many fail the test.


  1. I totally agree, this is not an arguement, torture in any form is wrong.

    America has once again been shown to be the terrorists.

  2. I remember when Rosie O’Donnell made the comment, “655,000 Iraqi civilians dead. Who are the terrorists? ... if you were in Iraq and another country, the United States, the richest in the world, invaded your country and killed 655,000 of your citizens, what would you call us?,” on the The View.

    As to be expected, everyone freaked out, but I think she made a valid point.


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