Wednesday, December 10, 2014
"...The idea that "this isn’t who we are," as President Obama has said, and that we have to expose this so that it "never happens again," as Sen. Feinstein put it, is pure nonsense. This is indeed who we are: it is what we became once we acquired a global empire. Waterboarding is nothing new for Americans: we did it to the Philippine rebels when we decided to "liberate" them from the Spaniards. We did worse in Vietnam. What’s more, our proxy armies – the Nicaraguan contras, the Afghan mujahideen during the 1980s, the Syrian rebels today – have engaged in torture worldwide. And don’t forget the many authoritarian regimes we’ve propped up with aid, arms, and diplomatic support, while they torture their own people..."
On Jan. 21, 1968, The Washington Post ran a front-page photo of a U.S. soldier supervising the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier near Da Nang. The caption said the technique induced "a flooding sense of suffocation and drowning, meant to make him talk." This picture led to an Army investigation and, two months later, the court martial of the soldier.
"His sufferings must be that of a man who is drowning, but cannot drown." -Lt. Grover Flint, Philippine-American War