On his radio show today, conservative talker Glenn Beck attacked Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) for his belief that waterboarding is torture, saying that the former Vietnam POW is “dead wrong.” After disparaging McCain’s position, Beck then joked about subjecting one of his sidekicks to waterboarding, saying that “we need to find somebody who is willing to be waterboarded by professionals and show if it’s torture or not.”
Beck asked his friend Stu if he would be willing to be waterboarded, but Stu refused, saying he’s “not going to be tortured.” When Beck pointed out that Stu has been “telling him” that “waterboarding’s not torture,” Stu changed his line to “I don’t want to be interrogated”:
STU: No, I’m not going to be tortured.
GLENN: It’s not torture.
STU: Oh, that’s right, it’s not torture.
GLENN: Wait a minute, you are the one that’s been telling me beat the drum, waterboarding’s not torture.
STU: I would say that’s true, you are accurate. I don’t want to be interrogated. How about that.
Throughout the entire segment, neither Beck nor any of his friends were willing to step up to the plate and be waterboarded, despite their insistence that it’s not torture. Listen to it:
When former acting assistant attorney general Daniel Levin underwent the procedure in 2004, he concluded that it “could be illegal torture.” In Nov. 2007, Malcolm W. Nance, a former U.S. Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape instructor who taught U.S. soldiers how to resist torture, testified to the House Judiciary Committee that waterboarding is torture:
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.
On his website now, Beck has posted a poll asking “who from the program should be waterboarded?”