Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Water Boarding

posted by oscar wilde @ 10:12 AM Permalink

The accused suspect lay on a board tipped so that his head was lower than his feet. The guards had stretched him out full length and bound him tightly. A metal device held the jaws open. His nostrils were stopped, allowing breathing only through his mouth. He struggled, but his bounds permitted little movement, and days of relentless questioning had left him exhausted. The guard draped a piece of linen loosely over the suspects open mouth. Jugs of water lined a nearby wall.

A doctor observed the suspects reactions and assessed his general condition. The army’s field manual required the presence of a physician to monitor the health of the accused. The purpose of interrogation would be nullified if the accused were physically unable to hear and understand the proceedings. A confession, if it came, had to be coherent.

A man in plain clothes, probably CIA sat at a table, poised to record and write down the particulars of the session.

When the Arabic speaking investigator asked the suspect about his Al Quieda involvement in the alleged plot and received only strenuous denials he looked to the doctor who gave him a nod of assent. The Investigator then pointed to the jugs of water and told the sergeant to be ready. The sergeant lifted one of the sloshing jugs; each contained one litre of water. The suspect's eyes widened in panic, he knew what was coming, and tried to scream.

Water is poured into the accused's open mouth. The linen cloth is washed into the opening of the throat, preventing the accused from spitting the water back out. The overwhelming sensation of drowning forced the accused to swallow the water. The rules of method as written in the army manual stipulated that no more than eight litres of water could be used in a single session The sergeant held the jug in his arms, ready to follow the investigator’s orders. The suspect cried and struggled for breath, anticipating the worst.

The CIA man stepped forward and spoke. "We shall begin."

It all sounds quite horrific and you might be more horrified when you go here and read the original account of when and where it came from and realise just how few words I have had to change in order to bring you the Gonzales/Bush edition.


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