Via John Chait, it seems that conservative talk radio host Eric “Mancow” Muller decided it would be a fun stunt to have himself waterboarded in order to prove that it’s not really torture. Didn’t work so well:
“It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,”Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”
“I wanted to prove it wasn’t torture,” Mancow said. “They cut off our heads, we put water on their face…I got voted to do this but I really thought ‘I’m going to laugh this off.'”
I’m not sure I understand why Mancow wasn’t willing to take Christopher Hitchens’ word for it when he undertook an identical experiment for the same reason and concluded “if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.” But as Chait says “I think the torture debate would be mighty different if more of the conservatives who scoff at waterboarding would try the same thing.”
The one guy who I want to see at the front of the line for this is Michael Goldfarb from the Weekly Standard who, I think, has really gone above and beyond the call of duty in terms of minimizing torture by referring to it as “dunking”.