A Little Waterboarding History
If we thought it was a war crime during WWII, so what’s changed since then?
Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk.
“Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor,” Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (D-Mass.) told his colleagues last Thursday during the debate on military commissions legislation. “We punished people with 15 years of hard labor when waterboarding was used against Americans in World War II,” he said.
And yet we excuse it away with platitudes like freedom and democracy. But these methods promote neither, and we actually begin to lose both when we employ them against our enemies.
Good thing we’re not doing it anymore…
Key senators say Congress has outlawed one of the most notorious detainee interrogation techniques — “waterboarding,” in which a prisoner feels near drowning.
Oh, but wait…
But the White House will not go that far, saying it would be wrong to tell terrorists which practices they might face.
Sounds like we’ve officially said we’re not going to do it, but behind the scenes we’re going to still maybe do it? Possibly?
Hmmm, mixed messages…not at all what I expect from this administration…