The Watering Hole: Wednesday, November 17, 2010: Hump Day

What does it mean when the President of the United States of America, the most powerful country in the world, admits to the world that he authorized waterboarding?

His lawyers said (remember the “Loyal Bushies” that staffed the Department of Justice curing Bush’s tenure) that waterboarding does not violate 18 U.S.C. 2340; that waterboarding is not “torture.”

The statute says,

As used in this chapter—
(1) “torture” means an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering (other than pain or suffering incidental to lawful sanctions) upon another person within his custody or physical control;
(2) “severe mental pain or suffering” means the prolonged mental harm caused by or resulting from—
(A) the intentional infliction or threatened infliction of severe physical pain or suffering;
(B) the administration or application, or threatened administration or application, of mind-altering substances or other procedures calculated to disrupt profoundly the senses or the personality;
(C) the threat of imminent death…

I leave it to you, our readers, to decide for yourselves: Did President Bush authorize torture?

What Waterboarding IsWaterboarding induces panic and suffering by forcing a person to inhale water into the sinuses, pharynx, larynx, and trachea.

The head is tilted back and water is poured into the upturned mouth or nose. Eventually the subject cannot exhale more air or cough out more water, the lungs are collapsed, and the sinuses and trachea are filled with water. The subject is drowned from the inside, filling with water from the head down. The chest and lungs are kept higher than the head so that coughing draws water up and into the lungs while avoiding total suffocation. “His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown.”

The prohibition against torture is so global that no country, great or small, can authorize torture.

This is our Open Thread. Please feel free to add your thoughts on this, or any other topic that comes to mind.

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The Watering Hole: February 8 – WTF?

This story caught my eye. Almost every sane person finds a way to deal with being angry at their kids, I usually leave the room until the anger passes, some use the skills they’ve honed in their professional careers.

A soldier waterboarded his four-year-old daughter because she was unable to recite her alphabet.

Joshua Tabor admitted to police he had used the CIA torture technique because he was so angry.

As his daughter ‘squirmed’ to get away, Tabor said he submerged her face three or four times until the water was lapping around her forehead and jawline.

Tabor, 27, who had won custody of his daughter only four weeks earlier, admitted choosing the punishment because the girl was terrified of water.

Children and the old and the frail are so very vulnerable. Empathy and protecting the weak is the one thing that makes us human. Some of us.
This is our open thread. Feel free to let us know about your thoughts on this and anything else.

Should this man be waterboarded?

I’d like to post this on every Conservative blog on the internet.

The man charged with murdering a high-profile abortion doctor claimed from his jail cell Sunday that similar violence was planned around the nation for as long as the procedure remained legal, a threat that comes days after a federal investigation launched into his possible accomplices.

This is about as close to the ticking time-bomb scenario as we’re going to get. This man claims to have knowledge about planned murders.

So, under the Bush/Cheney/Jack Bauer/Justice Scalia doctrine, should this man be waterboarded?

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It’s the Torture, Stupid

Who cares what Speaker Nancy Pelosi knew and when she knew it? That isn’t the point. The point is what it is that she is accused of knowing – That the Bush Administration, in violation of both US Law and International Treaty, tortured people. Continue reading

Stewart finds moral hypocrisy: Waterboarding good, gays bad

 Raw Story

Lt. Dan Choi is an Arabic translator that is being fired from the military for admitting that he is gay. Jon Stewart finds hypocrisy in that the government will bend its moral standards to allow waterboarding but then fires the resources that could translate the results of that waterboarding.


Sean Hannity consents to be waterboarded for charity!!

Sean Hannity is another of Fox News personalities that won’t call waterboarding torture.  Instead, he answers in this video “I am for enhanced interrogation.”  When asked if he was ever waterboarded by Grodin, his response was, “No, but Ollie North has.”  I’m lost, what in the hell does North’s being waterboarded have to do with Hannity being waterboarded???  Talking to someone about their experiences being tortured is a whole different animal than being waterboarded yourself.  Grodin asked Hannity if he would consent to be waterboarded, Hannity’s response, “I’ll do it for charity. I’ll let you do it. I’ll do it for the troops’ families.”

Having Grodin in this video made it bearable to watch.  In the end, he calls Hannity a fascist.  You will see Hannity cuts him off and talks over him.  Hats off to Grodin for having the moral fortitude to tolerate Hannity at all.

Cheney on Terror Threats: Enhanced Interrogation Program Prevented Attacks


So basically Cheney is saying that waterboarding, and other extreme methods that were used, help to keep us safe.  Wow, nothing like rewriting history to make yourself look good.

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Special Comment: On Waterboarding (11/5/07)

Keith Olbermann on Countdown had probably his most powerful Special Comment to date. If only there were more voices in the press (and Congress) that were willing to stand up and speak the truth to power. Perhaps there would finally be a movement towards returning to the rule of law, and just maybe there would be a little accountability before it is too late.

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Tortured logic

Oh yeah, I guess I might vote for him …

Republican Sens. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a member of the Judiciary Committee, and John McCain of Arizona, a Republican White House contender, voiced concerns about Mukasey but neither said whether they may vote against him.

“I am convinced as an individual senator, as a military lawyer for 25 years, that waterboarding … does violate the Geneva Convention, does violate our war crimes statute, and is clearly illegal,” Graham told “Face the Nation.”

“I think it would serve the attorney general nominee well to embrace that concept,” Graham said.

Asked if he would oppose Mukasey if the nominee refused to do so, Graham said, “If he does not believe that water boarding is illegal, then that would really put doubts in my own mind.”

McCain, appearing on ABC’s “This Week,” said, “Anyone who says they don’t know if waterboarding is torture or not has no experience in the conduct of warfare and national security.”

Asked if he would oppose Mukasey unless he declared waterboarding to be illegal, McCain said: “I can’t be that absolute, but I want to know his answer.”

Of course, it probably just depends on who’s doing it.

~ Egreggious