Last month, the New York Times reported that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the “self-confessed mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks in which more than 2,900 people were murdered, was waterboarded 183 times – or about once for every 16 victims.
This news caused the American Left to go apoplectic due to the unfairness of it all, especially when you consider that domestic, non-Muslim terrorists weren’t treated this harshly. Case in point: Timothy McVeigh was only executed once for every 168 people he murdered, and he was never waterboarded. Judging from the level of the Left’s protests, McVeigh got off light compared to KSM. McVeigh might disagree.
Naturally, the 9/11 attacks resulted in more global attention finally being paid to some of the true evil in the world – I speak of course of the Bush administration and the Central Intelligence Agency, and their use of the controversial practice of waterboarding.
How bad is waterboarding? So bad that some people have volunteered to have it performed on them (though some people more in the know than I have told me that, often, these stunt “waterboardings” are performed improperly and in an unsafe manner, clouding the whole debate and even endangering the volunteer).
Christopher Hitchens was waterboarded last year and concluded that the interrogation procedure is torture (possibly because the water didn’t have any booze in it).
Not long ago, Sean Hannity offered to be waterboarded for charity. This prompted some on the Left — who say that waterboarding should never, ever be used on any human being whatsoever because it goes against every principle we as Americans hold dear – to gladly step up and offer to waterboard Sean Hannity.
Keith Olbermann, the perma-steaming MSNBC host who’s always grimacing as if he’s getting a colonoscopy with a rose bush, offered $1,000 for every second Hannity was waterboarded. I offered $2,000 for every second Hannity could stand to listen to Keith Olbermann. Both offers remain in limbo.
Then, just this week, radio host “Mancow” Muller was waterboarded, and he also concluded it was torture. Muller claims he went into the waterboarding with the intention of saying it wasn’t torture, but changed his mind two seconds into waterfall that kept him from running his mouth for a record six seconds. One man’s torture is music to another’s ears.
The question as it pertains to willingly subjecting one’s self to waterboarding isn’t “is it torture?” The question should be this: “Is it a good idea to demand that someone shouldn’t condone waterboarding unless they can undergo it themselves and honestly say it isn’t torture?” This is like saying that I shouldn’t be for life sentences for convicted murderers unless I’m willing to prove it isn’t so bad by willingly spending the rest of my life in prison.
If making something illegal just because I might consider it torture is the issue, then “Fear Factor” would have been canceled half way through the very first episode, and Yoko Ono’s larynx would be rotting in a jail cell as we speak.
The relevant question as it pertains to waterboarding is, “Did it prevent attacks on people who loathe the idea of waterboarding terror suspects?” The answer, according to the CIA and Dick Cheney, is “yes.” An attack on Los Angeles, home to a lot of people who are dead-set against waterboarding because it’s an affront to the same Constitution that they believe allows third-trimester abortions, was thwarted because of waterboarding. So far liberals seem unaware of the irony.
If you want to really ratchet up the torture claims from Los Angeles liberals, tell them the CIA wasn’t waterboarding with purified bottled, but rather – gulp – tap water.
If any pollsters want to make liberal heads explode, go to Los Angeles and ask the following question: “Would you rather die in a terrorist attack, or have your life, and most importantly, film career, saved because of waterboarding?” Because there’s a chance it was.
A video that shows “Mancow” Muller doing something that, if there were beer instead of water in that pitcher, happens every weekend at frat parties, can be viewed here. Now all Hitch and Muller have to do is jump out of the 100th floor of a burning building, and they’ll have nearly experienced both sides of the story.
All I can say about all this is that those looking to prove that waterboarding is torture shouldn’t point to people who are unwittingly trivializing the practice as evidence for their claim.