Well, I am completely peeved at Attny. General Mukasey and his little song and dance around waterboarding.

Attorney General Michael Mukasey refused to legally define
waterboarding as "torture" during Senate testimony Wednesday, although he acknowledged that if the interrogation technique were performed on him, he would personally "feel that it was."

CNN, January 30, 2008

So, it's torture...but only when it happens to you? What a sack of sh*t! You're the most powerful lawyer in the country, why don't you render a f*cking legal opinion! Lawyers are supposed to be good at taking sides.

To be fair I understand his reluctance to put CIA operatives at risk of retroactive legal action. I think that needs to be fixed since they are obligated to follow orders. That doesn't mean I condone the CIA's actions, however.

So, why do I think Mukasey is so wrong. Here is one fine piece of evidence.

It comes from a regular joe who tried waterboarding and described his experiences. It is most enlightening to read through the whole article (You can find it here) but I will include excerpts to prove my point. In essence, if his experience is representative, it is definitely torture.

Seriously, I determined to give this a try, see how bad it was: Settle the
debate authoritatively. Torture, or not?

I figure I would be a good test subject. I am incredibly fit and training for
a 100 mile endurance run. The main thing about such an event is ability to
tolerate pain. I am good at this. I am trained.

I also have experience with free-diving from my college days. I once held my
breath for 4 minutes and two seconds. Once, while training as a lifeguard I swam
laps without breathing until I passed out, so that I could know my limits.

Easy enough to duplicate. I have an inclined weight bench and a watering can.
No problem. I lie on this and tilt the watercan to pour water on my mouth and
nose. Water goes up my nose causing me to gag and choke and splutter, but after
a try or two I'm able to suppress my reflex, relax breathe in shallowly and then
expel rapidly (shooting out the water) and maintain my composure. This is not
too bad. with my diving experience, you would never break me this way. I can't
beleive those AL Zarqawi guys were such pussies.

Back to researching the advanced techniques:

The first of these is wet rag in mouth. I try it. Ok, I can handle this too.
It makes it a little bit more difficult to maintain control...

Next up is saran wrap...

...It took me ten minutes to recover my senses once I tried this. I was
shuddering in a corner, convinced I narrowly escaped killing myself.

It seems that there is a point that is hardwired in us. When we draw water
into our respiratory tract to this point we are no longer in control. All hell
breaks loose. Instinct tells us we are dying.

I have never been more panicked in my whole life. Once your lungs are empty and collapsed and they start to draw fluid it is simply all over. You know you are dead and it's too late. Involuntary and total panic.There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It would be like telling you not to blink while I stuck a hot needle in your eye.

At the time my lungs emptied and I began to draw water, I would have sold my
children to escape. There was no choice, or chance, and willpower was not

I never felt anything like it, and this was self-inflicted with a watering
can, where I was in total control and never in any danger. And I understood.

I'll put it this way. If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a third
party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a sledgehammer, I'd take the fingers, no question.

It's horrible, terrible, inhuman torture. I can hardly imagine worse. I'd
prefer permanent damage and disability to experiencing it again. I'd give up anything, say anything, do anything.