Waterboarding: Worse Than Detention

People are flipping out about the news from earlier this week that Khalid Sheik Mohammed, admitted planner of the 9/11 attacks, was waterboarded a lot:

CIA interrogators used the waterboarding technique on Khalid Sheik Mohammed, the admitted planner of the September 11 attacks, 183 times and 83 times on another al Qaeda suspect, The New York Times said on Sunday.

Generally I’m opposed to torture, but I have to admit there’s little we could do to known terrorists that would bother me. Used only in the most extreme circumstances, I see no problem with an effective practice that causes little to no physical harm. Heck, it doesn’t even have to be all that effective as far as I’m concerned, given the amount of carnage that the smallest piece of information could prevent. Vice President Cheney, Emperor or the Nether-realm, has claimed the CIA possesses documents proving that waterboarding yielded results:

“I haven’t talked about it, but I know specifically of reports that I read, that I saw, that lay out what we learned through the interrogation process and what the consequences were for the country,” Cheney said.

I hope Cheney’s being straight with us here, and I hope what he’s referring to is declassified. That may be too much to ask, since President Obama generally only releases information that lets him treat others like a puppy who needs his nose rubbed in some mess or another. More from the Reuters story

The Senate Intelligence Committee is investigating the CIA interrogation program, which under President George W. Bush also included slamming prisoners into walls, shackling them in uncomfortable positions and depriving them of sleep.

Has it occurred to anyone else that the intolerable things that we do to some of the world’s worst villains wouldn’t look out of place in a high school bully’s daily routine? It’s so pathetic that we’re worrying about who should be prosecuted for violating the poor terrorists’ rights — instead of who should be thanked for keeping Americans safe.

[Update: Fixed a typo in the last paragraph.]

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