Your feet are shackled, and so are your wrists. When you were lead into the room you saw that it did not have the usual table, this room had a board, and a drain in the floor. You are blindfolded by the guards and roughly forced to lie on the wet wooden board. Even though you are shackled they tie you down to the board with three ropes, one across your chest, on across your waist and one across your legs. You are now completely unable to move, your head is below the level of your feet making the blood rush to your head.
You can hear them moving around and hear a hose running, filling a bucket of water. Your heart begins to race as your mouth is forced open and a wet rag is stuffed inside. There is enough clothe that it fills your mouth, and prevents your teeth from meeting, even at the back of your mouth. You feel a person sitting next you on the board, and they put their hands on your stomach, just above your diaphragm and push down, keeping you from taking a deep breath through your nose. You sense someone else standing above your head, and then the water starts to pour over your face. Not a little, but a torrent of water, it is running up your nose, and you can not breath! Your gag reflex kicks in, but the rag in your mouth does not let you gag.
Your body begins to convulse, convinced in the most primitive of reflexes to try to do anything to get more air! You thrash but the ropes and shackles have you completely immobilized. You feel the water hitting your face, as the person on the bench presses down on your diaphragm, forcing what little air you have out, not in. You are now sure that you are going to die, that you are going to drown, not an abstract, but for real, and right now. Your chest buns with the need for more air, your eyes tear under the blindfold as you struggle to get one more breath.
You are no longer a rational human, you are now just a survival machine, ready to beg anyone, do anything to make the pain stop and get just one more breath. The water stops falling on you.
You suck air in through your nose and try to suck it in through you mouth. Both bring more water along with the small amount of air you can get. You hear the hose running again and know that this is not over, it is just starting. Your heart is going like a trip hammer, and you are in a state of terror, like nothing you have ever experienced or thought of. You know if and when they ask you something, you will do or say anything, anything to prevent them from doing it again. Then the hands push on your stomach, and the water starts falling again.
You struggle, trying to hold your breath, but the gag reflex kicks in again, and again you become more animal than man as you struggle for breath your body wracked with pain and convulsively struggling to get free to breath.
I think that is enough of that. The point here is that the object failure of the Attorney General Holder and the Obama Administration in general to come down on those that ordered and carried out torture with the full force of the law has normalized it. This is the fear that has always motivated me to advocate on this issue, that the fact of torture becomes so normal that people just look at it and shrug. People, like the criminal President Bush are not only free but free to argue that one of the most heinous crimes humans can commit against each other is a legitimate tool of state.
If there were any evidence of efficacy there might be an argument (a spurious and facile one, not to mention morally bankrupt) that it was needed. The fact is that torture never has and never will produce really actionable intellgence. This is particularly true of waterboarding which is so horrific that people like Mancow and Chris Hutchens who have tried it were unable to withstand it for a few seconds, let alone repeated and constant applications.
Waterboarding is torture, it always has been. The previous President of the United States is making obscene amounts of money going on speaking tours where he not only admits his guilt, but brags about it as it were something honorable and good. This has to end! There must be investigations and prosecutions. Read the description of waterboarding again and ask yourself if you are willing to let 183 times of that on a single person go unprosecuted. Then ask yourself when how many time we will do this again, in the future if it is not stopped by the full force of the law?
The floor is yours.