With the recent report that the United States did, in fact, torture prisoners during the Bush Administration, an important conversation is now taking place.
Are we a country that tortures, or are we a country that admits our awful mistakes, and moves forward in a direction that ensures we never do this again?
Thanks, in large part, to Hollywood, many Americans believe torturing prisoners is okay. They see the so-called heroes beating the life out of the people they are questioning, and assume this is what happens in real life.
The fact is, torture is against the law in, not only The United States, but throughout most of the world.
While the real atrocities of what really happened in the prisons throughout the world were little known, most people were aware of some aspects of what the CIA was doing.
In 2009, Right-wing radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller was claiming that waterboarding was not torture. To prove it, he Mancow decided to get waterboarded—on air. This was also recorded on video.
While he was there on his own volition, and the process was rather calm, Mancow freaked.
After only 5 seconds, Mancow jumped up and called it quits. Shaken and crying, Mancow had an immediate change of heart.
“It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke. All that’s been done to this country, and I heard about water being sprinkled on someones face, I never considered that torture.
Even when I was laying there, I was thinking it would be no big deal. I go swimming, it’s going to be like going in the tub. It is such an odd feeling to have water being poured down your nose and your mouth with your head back.
It was instantaneous. I thought I could hold out 30, 60 seconds—it was instantaneous.
I don’t want to say this. I do not want to say this. Absolutely torture. Absolutely. That is drowning.”
Mancow was in a controlled environment, with friendlies all around him. He was able to say stop as soon as he needed to.
In comparison, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times.
To his credit, Mancow completely changed his position on the subject of torture.
Sean Hannity, on the other hand, vehemently disagrees with Mancow—claiming waterboarding is not torture. Hannity claimed he would be waterboarded for charity “for the troops,” to prove it.
Nearly 6 years later, and Hannity has yet to fulfill that promise.
Last year, actor and musician Mos Def demonstrated forced feeding. An activist against the torture of detainees, he did the video strictly to shed light on the practice of forced feeding.
While he was there voluntarily, the experience was quite traumatic. In the end, he had to call it quits.
Now, we are finding out that waterboarding and forced feeding are just the tip of the iceberg.
With torture, the ends do not justify the means. According to the Congressional report,
“The report finds that CIA detainees subjected to what were then called “enhanced interrogation techniques” either produced no intelligence, or they “fabricated information, resulting in faulty intelligence”. It says that the CIA’s own interrogators “assessed that the most effective method for acquiring intelligence from detainees, including from detainees the CIA considered to be the most ‘high-value’, was to confront the detainees with information already acquired by the intelligence community.”
They say war is hell, but does that mean we lower ourselves to the very ideals we are fighting against? Is that what “the greatest country on Earth” does?
Watch the videos below
The two videos below are of Mancow and Mos Def being tortured. While it is in a controlled environment, their reactions are real.
You can only imagine what those detained had to go through.
During these two videos, ask yourself:
“How would I react?”
“Is this how I would want to be treated—without ever being charged for a crime?”
The videos you are about to view are extremely graphic, and may be hard to watch.[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qUkj9pjx3H0?rel=0] [youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z6ACE-BBPRs?rel=0]
Featured Image: Screen Grab