Difference between revisions of "Waterboarding"

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[[Image:Waterboard.jpg|right|thumb|350px|A wall-painting found at a Vietnamese POW camp illustrating waterboarding being used against an American prisoner]]
 
'''Waterboarding''' is a controversial method of interrogation which simulates the sensation of drowning. Its use by American forces against terrorism suspects as controversial. Opponents of the practice call it "[[torture]]" and on this basis argue that it is illegal. Supporters of the practice acknowedge its coercive nature but say it is not torture and therefore not illegal.
 
'''Waterboarding''' is a controversial method of interrogation which simulates the sensation of drowning. Its use by American forces against terrorism suspects as controversial. Opponents of the practice call it "[[torture]]" and on this basis argue that it is illegal. Supporters of the practice acknowedge its coercive nature but say it is not torture and therefore not illegal.
  
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The [[United Nations]] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
 
The [[United Nations]] Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman
 
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment classifies torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."<ref>http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm</ref>
 
or Degrading Treatment or Punishment classifies torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."<ref>http://www.unhchr.ch/html/menu3/b/h_cat39.htm</ref>
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The US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego, California uses waterboarding against its students as a demonstration of how an "evil, totalitarian enemy would use torture at the slightest whim. If this is the case, then waterboarding is unquestionably being used as torture technique."<ref>[http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/10/waterboarding-is-torture-perio/ ''Waterboarding is Torture'']. Small Wars Journal. 7 May 2008.</ref> A waterboarding "bench" was discovered at the S-21 death camp ''Tuol Sleng'' in [[Phnom Pen]], which had been used to torture American [[POW]]s.
  
 
Opponents of the practice call it "[[torture]]" and want official definitions of [[torture]] changed so as to outlaw the technique.<ref>http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/04/06/usdom13130.htm</ref> One of the most notable critics of waterboarding is [[GOP]] presidential candidate [[John McCain]]. Senator McCain does not believe that the United States practices the technique in the [[War on Terror]], and he believes that it is highly inappropriate and unnecessary. <ref>http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/01/politics/main3441067.shtml</ref>
 
Opponents of the practice call it "[[torture]]" and want official definitions of [[torture]] changed so as to outlaw the technique.<ref>http://hrw.org/english/docs/2006/04/06/usdom13130.htm</ref> One of the most notable critics of waterboarding is [[GOP]] presidential candidate [[John McCain]]. Senator McCain does not believe that the United States practices the technique in the [[War on Terror]], and he believes that it is highly inappropriate and unnecessary. <ref>http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2007/11/01/politics/main3441067.shtml</ref>
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== References ==
 
== References ==
<small><references/></small>
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{{reflist|small}}
  
 
[[Category: Interrogation]]
 
[[Category: Interrogation]]
 
[[Category: War]]
 
[[Category: War]]
 
[[Category: Instruments and methods of torture]]
 
[[Category: Instruments and methods of torture]]

Revision as of 16:13, 7 May 2008

A wall-painting found at a Vietnamese POW camp illustrating waterboarding being used against an American prisoner

Waterboarding is a controversial method of interrogation which simulates the sensation of drowning. Its use by American forces against terrorism suspects as controversial. Opponents of the practice call it "torture" and on this basis argue that it is illegal. Supporters of the practice acknowedge its coercive nature but say it is not torture and therefore not illegal.

The practice dates back to the time of the Spanish Inquisition in the 1500s. A tightly bound prisoner has porous cloth placed over his mouth and nose. Water is poured over his face in such a manner as to convince the prisoner that he is drowning.

Legal issues in the 20th century

In 1901, Major Edwin Glenn was court-martialed and sentenced to 10 years hard labour for waterboarding an insurgent in the Philippines during the Spanish-American War.[1][2] In 1947, Yukio Asano - a Japanese officer - was charged with war crimes and received 15 years hard labour for waterboarding a US civilian. It was declared illegal by US generals in Vietnam and a US soldier was court-martialed after The Washington Post (21.1.1968) published a front page photograph of him supervising the waterboarding of a captured North Vietnamese soldier.[3][1]

Controversy over use in the War on Terror

According to Chapter 18, section 2340 of the United States Legal Code, torture is defined as "an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering."[4] The United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment classifies torture as "any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity."[5]

The US Navy Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape School (SERE) in San Diego, California uses waterboarding against its students as a demonstration of how an "evil, totalitarian enemy would use torture at the slightest whim. If this is the case, then waterboarding is unquestionably being used as torture technique."[6] A waterboarding "bench" was discovered at the S-21 death camp Tuol Sleng in Phnom Pen, which had been used to torture American POWs.

Opponents of the practice call it "torture" and want official definitions of torture changed so as to outlaw the technique.[7] One of the most notable critics of waterboarding is GOP presidential candidate John McCain. Senator McCain does not believe that the United States practices the technique in the War on Terror, and he believes that it is highly inappropriate and unnecessary. [8]

Defenders of the practice deny that the suffering it causes is severe enough as to amount to torture.

References