Last but not least, I would like to submit the opinion of an expert on the subject of interogation and terrorism.

Does this guy look like someone you would want to f*ck with?
I didn't think so. Although he seems like a pretty decent guy, his smile is disarming considering the automatic rifle in his lap. Still, his profile at Small Wars Journal is nothing to sniff at so despite the smile I don't want to be on the wrong side of him in a war zone or interrogation room.
*Over 20 years of military intelligence experience.
*Arabic translator.
*Field inteligence operator
*Master Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) instructor with teh Navy

For those who don't know, it is SERE where most military people experience waterboarding, not as a tool to teach how to do it, but as a method of teaching people how to deal with it. In Nances words it is training for, "how an evil totalitarian, enemy would use torture at the slightest whim," on POW's. (What does this say about us as a country?)

His statement on the issue is unoquivocal:

"Waterboarding is a torture technique. Period."

Click the quote above to read the entire article. He does not mince words. For more info on his beliefs here is a CNN interview transcript.

For those who have made the argument that, "Senator McCain was tortured, but waterboarding isn't the same. It's not real torture that leaves permanent injury like that." read through the article with special care. Nance has read the classified debriefings given by McCain and others who endured the Hanoi Hilton and waterboarding was one of the tortures used there. Also, he details how waterboarding is simply a more controlled method of drowning, it is not a simulation but a way to draw out the process. I hope I never hear that argument again.

Further, Nance has traveled to many of the worst torture and death chambers on the planet and done extensive research on the subject, including reading classified information on the subject. He is literally one of the people who wrote the book when it comes to SERE training. He claims that the techniques being used at GITMO are reverse engineered from the training manuals he helped to write.

This description of an interview he had with a man who had survived Toul Sleng is one of the best summations I've seen of the information retrieved from preople who have been waterboarded.

"On a Mekong River trip, I met a 60-year-old man, happy to be alive and a
cheerful travel companion, who survived the genocide and torture … he spoke
openly about it and gave me a valuable lesson: “If you want to survive, you must
learn that ‘walking through a low door means you have to be able to bow.’” He
told his interrogators everything they wanted to know including the truth. They
rarely stopped. In torture, he confessed to being a hermaphrodite, a CIA spy, a
Buddhist Monk, a Catholic Bishop and the son of the king of Cambodia. He was
actually just a school teacher whose crime was that he once spoke French. He
remembered “the Barrel” version of waterboarding quite well. Head first until
the water filled the lungs, then you talk."

He also offers one of the best, and given his credentials, one of the harshest rebukes of president Bush I have yet read.

"I have stated publicly and repeatedly that I would personally cut Bin
Laden’s heart out with a plastic MRE spoon if we per chance meet on the
battlefield. Yet, once captive I believe that the better angels of our nature
and our nation’s core values would eventually convince any terrorist that they
indeed have erred in their murderous ways. Once convicted in a fair, public
tribunal, they would have the rest of their lives, however short the law makes
it, to come to terms with their God and their acts.

This is not enough for our President. He apparently secretly ordered
the core American values of fairness and justice to be thrown away in the name
of security from terrorists. He somehow determined that the honor the military,
the CIA and the nation itself was an acceptable trade for the superficial
knowledge of the machinations of approximately 2,000 terrorists, most of whom
are being decimated in Iraq or martyring themselves in Afghanistan. It is a
short sighted and politically motivated trade that is simply disgraceful. There
is no honor here."
So...Is waterboarding torture? I'm really fishing for comments here, but I'd like to know who is not convinced and why? If you think it isn't how do you square the moral aspects of it? I'm very interested to know.