Waterboarding is a technique some refer to as torture. It promotes an immediate gag reflex and induces the recipient to believe they are drowning — in other words, dying. I have almost drowned three times. It’s a frightening experience to say the least.
The CIA has been accused, perhaps even admitted to, waterboarding certain people. People like: Kahlid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim a Nashiri. You can Google these folks to acquire their respective and continuing curricula vitae. Each one has led a most interesting life, especially as it pertains to those who don’t agree with them.
A few summers ago my son spent significant time in East Africa, a place where AlQaeda lives, operates and murders. Naturally, as his father, I wondered what would/could happen if he, as an American aid worker, was caught by those following UBL. What I hoped and prayed for was that, if such an eventuality transpired, he would be treated like those who were held under US auspices in Abu Ghraib. Sexually humilated, threatened by dogs, photographed in the nude…
What I truly feared was that, if kidnapped, he’d have his eyes ripped out, and his head sawn off. The fact is, these techniques have been used by our enemies for years, and years, and years.
Whether it can be termed as legal or not, waterboarding is ugly. What is a tad uglier is viewing the remains of humans beings turned into disparate collections of mutilated limbs and rotting flesh — the result of a hotel bombing or skyscraper immolation.
So, if a known terrorist is in custody, holding information on imminent threats likely to cause untold damage, apart from the barbarity of waterboarding, what exactly would you suggest our leaders do?
Come up with an answer that, in retrospect, will make sense amidst columns of heavy smoke and the cries of those trapped under tons of crumbled rubble and hot ash — if your style of coercive interrogation fails.
Come up with an effective and pristine solution. One that guarantees success and violates no one’s politically tenderized sensibilities.
Oh, and do it quickly — in real-time, with real threats on the table.
Because if you don’t, later on you could be charged, disgraced, even imprisoned.
And may the Lord guide us, and help us.