Hitchens tries it, then says waterboarding is torture

This will be well known tomorrow, but I thought I’d post it anyway:


Late last year, the writer, polemicist and fierce proponent of the
US-led invasion of Iraq Christopher Hitchens attempted, in a piece for
the online magazine Slate, to draw a distinction between what he
called techniques of “extreme interrogation” and “outright torture”.

Hitchens seems to make the distinction in this column, on the CIA’s erasure of “interrogation footage”.

At a time when Congress and the courts are conducting important hearings on the critical question of extreme interrogation, and at a time when accusations of outright torture are helping to besmirch and discredit the United States all around the world, a senior official of the CIA takes the unilateral decision to destroy the crucial evidence.

That there is a distinction to be made seems to underlie his reasoning that the evidence of the interrogations should not be destroyed. He may have made the point more clearly while chatting with Tim Russert.

Someone called his bluff and asked Hitchens to subject himself to waterboarding. Hitchens agreed and was waterboarded by “members of the Special Forces who underwent the advanced form of training known as sere (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape).”

Since experiencing waterboarding, Hitchens has written an article for this month’s Vanity Fair: Believe Me, It’s Torture

Waterboarding is often described in the media as ‘simulating the experience of drowning’.  No, Hitchens says, you are being drowned.  He has come round to the opinion of Malcom Nance, a former instructor in SERE.
Hitchen’s article is there:

You can actually watch him being waterboarded here:

The video may be disturbing. It is torture you know.



Posted on July 2, 2008, in News, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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