Now, waterboarding might be torture, but as long as people I hate also hate waterboarding, then I love it more than life itself. … So I cherish waterboarding. I want to make it our national sport, our national bird. I want to make the waterboard the state flower of Vermont, instead of the Birkenstock.
For too many conservatives, waterboarding is a big joke to be taken lightly. Rachel Marsden — Gutfeld’s former co-host — claimed waterboarding was simply a “CIA-sponsored swim lesson.” Sen. Kit Bond (R-MO) said yesterday that waterboarding is “like swimming, freestyle, backstroke.” Conservative blogger Glenn Reynolds said he’d “be happy to” be waterboarded, and John Ashcroft suggested he’d also be willing to take the dive.
Waterboarding is not “simulated drowning.” It is drowning. As Reps. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and William Delahunt (D-MA) explained, “The victim’s lungs fill with water until the procedure is stopped or the victim dies.” Former Navy survival instruction Malcolm Wrightson Nance explained to Congress:
In my case, the technique was so fast and professional that I didn’t know what was happening until the water entered my nose and throat. … It then pushes down into the trachea and starts the process of respiratory degradation. It is an overwhelming experience that induces horror and triggers frantic survival instincts. As the event unfolded, I was fully conscious of what was happening: I was being tortured.
Perhaps these conservative armchair torture pundits need to follow Daniel Levin’s lead and gain some first-hand enlightenment about waterboarding.