Monday, December 24, 2007

What Waterboarding Is Like - Firsthand

Scylla, of Straight Dope, decided to answer the question of "Is Waterboarding Torture?" for himself. Here's a hint of his description of what waterboarding is like:
Here's what happened:

The water fills the hole in the saran wrap so that there is either water or vaccum in your mouth. The water pours into your sinuses and throat. You struggle to expel water periodically by building enough pressure in your lungs. With the saran wrap though each time I expelled water, I was able to draw in less air. Finally the lungs can no longer expel water and you begin to draw it up into your respiratory tract.

It seems that there is a point that is hardwired in us. When we draw water into our respiratory tract to this point we are no longer in control. All hell breaks loose. Instinct tells us we are dying.

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 [b]know[b] you are dead and it's too late. Involuntary and total panic.

There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It would be like telling you not to blink while I stuck a hot needle in your eye.

At the time my lungs emptied and I began to draw water, I would have sold my children to escape. There was no choice, or chance, and willpower was not involved.

I never felt anything like it, and this was self-inflicted with a watering can, where I was in total control and never in any danger.

And I understood.

Waterboarding gets you to the point where you draw water up your respiratory tract triggering the drowning reflex. Once that happens, it's all over. No question.

Seriously, read the whole thing.

(h/t Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing)

1 comment:

  1. Well that was creepy.

    You know, even if I could get past the ethical objection to my government practicing this type of thing on prisoners, I would still have to question the veracity of anything anyone "confessed" under such treatment.

    Like the guy says, he would've sold his children. Salem witch trials resulted in the conviction of a lot of witches. But then it turned out witches didn't exist.


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