Telling it like it is

Yesterday, Eric Holder was confirmed as the new Attorney General of the United States. Hopefully this means the turning of a page on an interpretation of human rights law which was at once both vicious and cowardly. I will not miss Alberto Gonzales’ vacuous explanations of why we don’t torture and how “quaint” the Geneva Conventions are.

This  brings me to a pet peeve on how waterboarding is often described or defined. In a November 9, 2007 article in the New York Times there was this statement:

The goal of  waterboarding, which has been used in interrogations at least since the time of the Spanish Inquisition, is to create the sensation of drowning without causing death.

Numerous times one will hear or read similar statements such as “simulated drowning,” or  the “feeling that one is drowning,” or as above, “the sensation of drowning.”

From what I’ve been able to understand about this issue, the person is drowning. So, it is more than a sensation as though one’s imagination is getting the best of him.  Nor is it a simulation  of what it “might” be like. No, it is what drowning is like. Those who deny or are uncertain whether or not waterboarding is torture may want to give it try.

I’m so glad Mr. Holder spoke up on the issue of torture during his confirmation. Telling it like it is will be most refreshing.

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