(I just discovered this essay on an obsolete blog that I’d forgotten I’d ever had. Seems I wrote it on May 20, 2005. I’m proud of this piece. So I’m going to resurrect it.)
In February 2002, President Bush announced that the Geneva Conventions would not apply to prisoners associated with Al Qaeda and the Taliban. In December of that year, an innocent Afghan taxi driver was tortured to death, mostly for the sake of entertainment, in an American detention center.
Now that candidates can run respectably on a platform of torture, how long before we see a frontrunner advocating slavery? Surely everything’s open for reconsideration. It’s time to retire an inconvenient prejudice: that America’s progress should be in a forward direction.
Of all the candidates at the Republican debates — including that putative beacon of sanity, Mitt Romney — only Jon Huntsman and Ron Paul had the base-level decency to renounce waterboarding: a practice that has been considered a particularly extreme form of torture since the Spanish Inquisition.
If you’re not reading Andrew Sullivan’s blog, you’re not fully aware of what this administration’s doing to untried prisoners in the name of The War Against Other People’s Terrorism. Some technical details:
“TORTURE AND WATER: One of the experts on torture, especially that practised in Iran, professor Darius Rejali of Reed College, emails an exhaustive account of the various techniques involved, including their gruesome nuances:
This specific water torture, often called the “water cure,” admits of several variants:
(a) pumping: filling a stomach with water causes the organs to distend, a sensation compared often with having your organs set on fire from the inside.