Today in the Washington Post, Richard E. Mezo, who served in the Navy for six years, describes his experience being waterboarded:
Last week, much to my dismay, government officials testified before Congress that the United States has used the interrogation technique known as waterboarding and would like to hold out the option of using it in the future. As someone who has experienced waterboarding, albeit in a controlled setting, I know that the act is indeed torture. I was waterboarded during my training to become a Navy flight crew member. [...]
Waterboarding has, unfortunately, become a household word. Back then, we didn’t call it waterboarding — we called it “water torture.” We recognized it as something the United States would never do, whatever the provocation. … Waterboarding is torture, and torture is clearly a crime against humanity.
Former Justice Department official Daniel Levin, who was voluntarily waterboarded in 2004, came to similar conclusions about the procedure.