18 July 2008

The media and torture

This morning I was glumly reading the NYT's article about the Hamdan case moving forward (an issue which I won't weigh in on as I lack sufficient knowledge of the relevant laws) when I stumbled upon this lovely gem of a quote in the bit covering former attorney general John Ashcroft's testimony on Capitol Hill yesterday:
“I don’t know of any acts of torture that have been committed,” [Ashcroft] said, adding that all the techniques fell within legally approved guidelines, including waterboarding, in which water is poured into the mouth and nose to produce a feeling of drowning.
My beef isn't with Ashcroft's denial of authorizing or know about acts of torture taking place -- that's to be expected from current and former members of the Sleaze Administration. What bothers me is the part that goes "to produce a feeling of drowning."

Let's be clear, waterboarding doesn't cause "a feeling of drowning." It actually entails drowning someone, hopefully stopping before someone has actually fully drowned, and is thus deceased. How many more journalists have to volunteer to get waterboarded (Christopher Hitchens being the most recent example) and how many more videos of 16-year-old kids held at Guantanamo do we have to release before the media actually stops believing whatever horse swill Bush and company throw at them?

Maybe this person will be a helpful critic of this kind of crap. Time will tell.

No comments: