Waterboarding isn't nice. A person subjected to temporary immersion in water feels some of the effects of drowning.
I wouldn't do it to my kids.
But then, my kids aren't likely to have a shot at killing thousands of people.
Not everyone has inhibitions about committing mass murder. Maybe it's a cultural thing. For example: Eight students were shot to death at a Jerusalem rabbinical seminary.
- Segev Peniel Avihail, 15, of Neve Daniel
- Neria Cohen, 15, of Jerusalem
- Yonatan Yitzhak Eldar, 16, of Shilo
- Avraham David Moses, 16, of Efrat
- Yohai Lifshitz, 18, of Jerusalem
- Ro'i Roth, 18, of Elkana
- Yehonadav Haim Hirschfeld, 19, of Kokhav Hashahar
- Doron Tronoh Meherete, 26, of Ashdod
- Sami Abu Zuhri:
"This heroic attack in Jerusalem is a normal response to the crimes of the occupier and its murder of civilians."
- Taher al-Nunu:
"We have warned before about the responsibility of the escalation in Gaza and warned of Palestinian anger." Mr. Nunu also said that Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defence Minister Ehud Barak and the Israeli government are to blame for the attacks, since they tried to stop Hamas from killing Jews.
The fact is that there are quite a few people, in relatively well-organized groups, who hate America and Americans with a literally religious fervor.
- Determined to kill Americans, or at least help others kill Americans
- Not nice people
- Not likely to respond positively to tea and kindness
The American military banned "waterboarding, sensory deprivation or other coercive methods to break a prisoner who refuses to answer questions" in 2006.
I haven't made up my mind about waterboarding, and am glad that I don't have to make the final decision.
- On the one hand:
Waterboarding is a coercive technique which may dislodge information that won't come out with more polite questioning.
Thousands of lives could be saved by using it: and, it's probably more humane than squeezing a terrorist's head until facts pop out.
- On the other hand:
Waterboarding and similar techniques are arguably "contrary to respect for the person and for human dignity." (Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2297)
I'll readily agree that waterboarding is near the border between interrogation techniques that are merely inconvenient and/or uncomfortable for their subjects, and those which are actually torture. Which side of the line it's on, I don't know.
What I do know is that it's a near-certainly that politicos will be using the waterboarding issue to show how very, very ethical they are, or humane, or compassionate. I'm not going to enjoy that process, but as a responsible citizen, I'll have to pay attention to who says what. It's an unpleasant but necessary task: sort of like turning a manure pit.