Things I read today (Pharyngula on torture/description of waterboarding)

December 30th, 2007 by amy

From the science blog Pharyngula

When the US government announces it’s support for torture, they aren’t talking about intelligence gathering: they are simply saying “Fear us.” They are taking the first step on the road to tyranny.

The real problem is that fear isn’t a good tool to use in a democratic society. We are supposed to be shareholders in our government; when a process of oppression is endorsed by our legislators and president, we should recognize that they are trying to set themselves apart from the ordinary citizenry, and it’s time to rebel…before the goon squads come to your neighborhood. Anyone who supports torture is a traitor to the democratic form of government, and should be voted out of office, if not impeached.

Despite it’s tag line, Pharyngula is not just a science blog, it is one of the most consistently interesting of all the blogs I read; taking on, sometimes with humor sometimes with righteous anger, anyone who tries to dress up woolly-headededness, deliberate ignorance, lies or fabrications of any kind as truth.

Myers earlier cited a description of how water-boarding feels from Straight Dope’s message boards which is shocking and a telling refutation to any person or government who would try to twist words and phrases to suggest the practice is anything but deliberate and horrible torture.

I have never been more panicked in my whole life. Once your lungs are empty and collapsed and they start to draw fluid it is simply all over. You know you are dead and it’s too late. Involuntary and total panic…

So, is it torture?

I’ll put it this way. If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a third party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a sledgehammer, I’d take the fingers, no question.

It’s horrible, terrible, inhuman torture. I can hardly imagine worse. I’d prefer permanent damage and disability to experiencing it again. I’d give up anything, say anything, do anything.

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