Tuesday, December 16, 2014
I was walking across a long, wide bridge in Luxembourg in Winter 1976 and it had snowed a ton and there was maybe 18 inches of very wet show everywhere. And this bus was coming, pushing and throwing off onto the sidewalk a bow wave of slush and water about 4 and a half fee tall. I was pretty much in the middle of the bridge so outrunning it was out of the question. I kinda panicked for a few steps and then I grew calm and stood tall and waited for the bus to pass. The force of the slush/water nearly knocked off me off my feet. It hit my front and traveled up into my face, right up my nose and over the top of my head. I don't think a single square inch of any piece of clothing had on was dry. It was a long, cold walk back to Jack Black's apartment near the train station and a change of clothes.
I know that we did a safe water boarding to three Muslim terrorists about 12 years ago. I say safe because we made their head the lowest point where they were lying so no water would enter their lungs. The water on cloth over the face is sufficient to trigger an autonomic response, that is, the water covering the face makes the body believe it's drowning (even though it's not). You can't not feel the response; it's not a perception filtered through higher brain functions. There is no lasting damage, not even psychological from a one time thing like that. I watched the late Christopher Hitchens get water boarded for about 7 seconds before he wussied out. He declared it torture but it's not. And to call it torture is to cheapen and diminish the very idea of torture, not to mention minimizing the real anguish and degradation suffered by actual torture victims.
I was not a victim of torture when the European bus driver sent water into my face and up my nose. Chris Hitchens was not a victim of torture when he had a wet cloth on his face for a few seconds. And the guys who tell you water boarding, as we did it to Hitchens and the Muslim scum, is torture are just lying to you.
Of course, it all depends on context. Doing it one time as they did to Hitchens is not torture. Doing it again and again to the same guy, with barely a few seconds between for the guy to recover before the wet towel is coming again, well, that could be torture.