Water torture

It’s not exactly a surprise to read that an ex-CIA agent has admitted that water-boarding was used to extract information from al-Qaeda suspects. But the following quote left me slightly stunned:

“Like a lot of Americans, I’m involved in this internal, intellectual battle with myself weighing the idea that water-boarding may be torture versus the quality of information that we often get after using the water-boarding technique. And I struggle with it.”

I think water-boarding IS torture. And a very quick internet search to find the details of the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 located the following paragraph:

Article 3

In the case of armed conflict not of an international character occurring in the territory of one of the High Contracting Parties, each Party to the conflict shall be bound to apply, as a minimum, the following provisions:

(1) Persons taking no active part in the hostilities, including members of armed forces who have laid down their arms and those placed hors de combat by sickness, wounds, detention, or any other cause, shall in all circumstances be treated humanely, without any adverse distinction founded on race, colour, religion or faith, sex, birth or wealth, or any other similar criteria. To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:

(a) violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;

(b) taking of hostages;

(c) outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;

(d) the passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.

I feel for that ex-CIA agent. His head is stuck so far up his own arse that he doesn’t realise that what they are doing, whatever euphemism they apply, is inhumane and against the accord that his country ratified many years ago. It IS torture. It IS inhumane. It goes AGAINST a ratified treaty. There is no justification for torture.


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