Fox News’ Sean Hannity has long been a torture enthusiast. “I want to torture them to the limit,” he once said of terrorists suspects. President Obama’s recent decision to release Bush administration memos outlining how torture was approved at the highest levels has spurred Hannity to promote torture even more wildly. “People are going to die because of what Barack Obama is doing right now. People are going to die,” he said last week, before slamming a football into his desk and declaring, “Imagine this is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s head. Dunk it in water so we can save American lives! You bet.”
Last Wednesday, Hannity took his torture enthusiasm to a new level. After promoting torture during his entire program, he agreed to guest Charles Grodin’s challenge to subject himself to waterboarding, volunteering to do it for charity:
GRODIN: You’re for torture.
HANNITY: I am for enhanced interrogation.
GRODIN: You don’t believe it’s torture. Have you ever been waterboarded?
HANNITY: No, but Ollie North has and talked to me about it.
GRODIN: Would you consent to be waterboarded so we can get the truth out of you? We can waterboard you?
HANNITY: Sure. … I’ll do it for charity. I’ll let you do it. … I’ll do it for the troops’ families.
The next night, MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann declared that he would give $1,000 to charity for every second Hannity withstood waterboarding. Watch it:
Despite Hannity’s affection for torture, he has not mentioned his agreement to be waterboarded since Wednesday. If he ever does “put his money where his mouth is,” as Olbermann challenged him to, he can expect to enjoy the torturous sensation of very real — and very terrifying — drowning, as Christopher Hitchens explained after subjecting himself to it:
You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning — or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure.
Hitchens’ explained that inhaling “brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face.” Indeed, he was being suffocated.
How much longer will “the troops’ families” have to wait before Hannity takes Olbermann up on his generous offer and volunteer to undergo such suffocation?