# Conservative talk show host waterboarded

## Main Question or Discussion Point

In an effort to show waterboarding is not torture, the conservative talk show host "Mancow" agreed to put his money were his mouth is, and actually be waterboarded. He was not sleep deprived, confined, or in any way "prepared" for it, the way the US would, and he had the knowledge it would end whenever he wanted it to.

The punch line? He lasted six seconds. Afterwords, he agreed, "Waterboarding is absolutely torture."

Any opinions on this? (I'd like to see Hannity up next.)

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mgb_phys
Homework Helper
And he knew it was an act and they wouldn't kill him.
Suppose he was seized in the studio by foreign soldiers with machine guns, hooded, flown around the world and woke up in a Syrian prison - how long would he last then.

And he knew it was an act and they wouldn't kill him.
Suppose he was seized in the studio by foreign soldiers with machine guns, hooded, flown around the world and woke up in a Syrian prison - how long would he last then.
That's what I meant when I said he had the knowledge it would end whenever he wanted it to. But a very valid point all the same.

CRGreathouse
Homework Helper
I was hoping that something like this would happen. Not having any knowledge of interrogation techniques or SERE, I haven't been able to hold an informed opinion about what is and isn't torture. But I always wondered why those who said it wasn't torture didn't try it. Sure, you won't be able to replicate it perfectly -- but you should be able to get some reasonable idea about it.

I applaud this talk show host (about whom I know nothing beyond the contents of this thread) for
1. testing his ideas
2. having the courage to change his opinion.

I haven't been able to hold an informed opinion about what is and isn't torture.
Where is the line is irrelevant. What is relevant is to be as far as possible from the line, not as close as possible according to the official texts.

He wasn't the first to do this. I think they're starting to do it for publicity now.

CRGreathouse
Homework Helper
Where is the line is irrelevant. What is relevant is to be as far as possible from the line, not as close as possible according to the official texts.
I don't agree with that. For example, a country could be further from the line by releasing all criminals from prison. But that's probably a bad idea. Or consider the possibility that a rogue soldier/police officer/vigilante/etc. might torture a person (say, with probability p). Assigning three people to each prisoner instead of one might reduce the probability of turture to something like p^2. But if we want to reduce this as far as possible, we'll go much further, etc, etc.

A country 'should' be far from the line, but not "as far as possible".

More practically, I think the line should be found for judicial reasons. Actually, several lines:
* Beyond some point, a person enacting a policy should be held legally liable for that decision. (This may or may not be Constitutionally possible in the US retroactively, but certainly it is possible for the future.)
* Beyond another (further) point, a person carrying out such actions specifically allowed should be held liable for their actions. (Even if genocide were legal, it would not be permissible to carry it out.)
* Beyond another (probably yet further) point, a person carrying out such actions *even under specific orders to do so* would be held liable for them.

CRGreathouse
Homework Helper
He wasn't the first to do this. I think they're starting to do it for publicity now.
I really think that the senior Defense Department officials should have gone through it in the first place -- not just the brass, but the civvies too. There may be permissible techniques (contra humanino's sensible opinion, above), but if our leadership can't bring themselves to go through it it's probably too much.

Honestly, I don't envy the job of the interrogators* and their commanders. In their position I would have spent many sleepless nights trying to balance the deontological against the practical, and the value of innocent lives against the harm to a (possibly also innocent) life. The difficulty of this situation is one of the best reasons that the decision should be made ahead of time by society. Is it permissible to imprison a suspected terrorist? Put him in solitary confinement? Question him for twenty hours straight? Etc.

* Note: "interrogators" not "torturers". The need to get information from enemy soldiers, renegade militants, terrorists, etc. won't go away, but that doesn't mean society needs to condone torture in any way. In the nicest form imaginable an interrogation would be a debriefing.

Gokul43201
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member

qUkj9pjx3H0[/youtube] Christopher Hitchens did it last year. [url]4LPubUCJv58[/youtube] I find the Mancow story interesting from a purely political point of view. I don't think it sheds any additional light on the debate of whether waterboarding is torture.

He wasn't the first to do this. I think they're starting to do it for publicity now.
maybe people will actually pay to get waterboarded. this could be the biggest thing since bungee jumping, heck, maybe even mixed martial arts. reality game show, anyone? are YOU tougher than a 5th grade terrorist?

LowlyPion
Homework Helper
maybe people will actually pay to get waterboarded. this could be the biggest thing since bungee jumping, heck, maybe even mixed martial arts. reality game show, anyone? are YOU tougher than a 5th grade terrorist?
Cheney could start a side business then franchising "EIT"eries.

Their motto: "Anywhere else it would be torture."

maybe people will actually pay to get waterboarded. this could be the biggest thing since bungee jumping, heck, maybe even mixed martial arts. reality game show, anyone? are YOU tougher than a 5th grade terrorist?
And the backyard imitators will send a few idiots six feet under and the lawsuits will follow. Especially drunken fools. I'm also thinking adoption as a hazing ritual for clubs, frats, the boy scouts.

LowlyPion
Homework Helper
In an effort to show waterboarding is not torture, the conservative talk show host "Mancow" agreed to put his money were his mouth is, and actually be waterboarded. He was not sleep deprived, confined, or in any way "prepared" for it, the way the US would, and he had the knowledge it would end whenever he wanted it to.

The punch line? He lasted six seconds. Afterwords, he agreed, "Waterboarding is absolutely torture."

Any opinions on this? (I'd like to see Hannity up next.)
Mancow ponying up got Sean Hannity off the hook with Kieth Olbermann who was preparing to offer up $1000 a second that Hannity lasted after Hannity was claiming it wasn't torture. turbo Gold Member I'd love to see that pus-bag Limbaugh waterboarded right alongside the too-snide jerk Cheney and see which one of those creeps broke first. Torture is torture, and the scenery-chewing ravings of these loons does not mitigate that. It would be nice to see them maintain their composure while being tortured though. For example, a country could be further from the line by releasing all criminals from prison. People subject to torture are usually not criminals since they have not even been proven guilty. Your argument indicates that you missed more than my point. maybe people will actually pay to get waterboarded. this could be the biggest thing since bungee jumping, heck, maybe even mixed martial arts. reality game show, anyone? are YOU tougher than a 5th grade terrorist? Coming to you at your next county fair. What will the response be from Hannity, Limbaugh, etc ? Let's make some predictions. I predict that Hannity will say something like "You're asking me to be waterboarded? Why would I put myself through that, that's a tough/rough/unpleasant treatment we use on America's enemies / terrorists / enemy combatants...sure it's a little tough / rough /unpleasant but it's not torture, and it has saved American lives many times over!" I was talking to someone on the phone a few weeks ago when they broke the news to me that Arlen Spector was switching parties, and I told the person that if they switched the channel to fox news that they would be doing a slander piece on spector right then, and sure enough... You had people in Guantananamo who, accoding to the usual rules, were not required to cooporate with interrogations. It was decided that some of the people who did not cooporate would be waterboarded in order to make them so uncomfortable that they would choose to avoid it, which meant they had to decide to cooporate with interrogations. This alone almost surely implies that waterboarding is torture. If it were not torture, it would not have worked and some other technique would have been applied. Last edited: LowlyPion Homework Helper I'd love to see that pus-bag Limbaugh waterboarded right alongside the too-snide jerk Cheney and see which one of those creeps broke first. Torture is torture, and the scenery-chewing ravings of these loons does not mitigate that. It would be nice to see them maintain their composure while being tortured though. I think you need to see Cheney in a broader perspective. Apparently these days he's shopping around a book deal to make some coin. (I think he's asking more than$2M.) In that context then, the more controversial he makes himself, then maybe no matter how reviled he was in office and even now for his absurd statements about how great torture is, he's just another entertainer like Limbaugh, and even this Mancow. They're playing from the same play book, praying at the same church - Greed.

turbo
Gold Member
People subject to torture are usually not criminals since they have not even been proven guilty. Your argument indicates that you missed more than my point.
Most Americans (US, at least) have been glossing over that point for many years. It's not just the extraordinary renditions in foreign prisons, either. The "School of the Americas" has been training torturers for decades. Some time, the US voters have to be educated in the techniques that our "allies" have been trained in, and vote to STOP it.

Evo
Mentor
I applaud this talk show host (about whom I know nothing beyond the contents of this thread) for
1. testing his ideas
2. having the courage to change his opinion.
This talk show host is a well known moron, idiot, and publicity hound. He will do anything for ratings and is disgusting.

Just thought you might want to know.

LowlyPion
Homework Helper
This talk show host is a well known moron, idiot, and publicity hound. He will do anything for ratings and is disgusting.

Just thought you might want to know.
Which one?

I've never heard Mancow in his natural habitat. The others mentioned here like Hannity and Limbaugh of course might also fit that description in some quarters.

By the by, hope all is well. I haven't seen you about for awhile.

Hans de Vries
Gold Member
Pain and distress is just psychology.. It's all in the mind isn't it. I doesn't
really exist, or does it? Torture without visible permanent damage can't
be really torture, or can it?

The reflex response in the brain due to an imminent dead by drawning
is apparently that extreme and overwhelming. Instantaneous action is
required otherwise you're dead, but you can't do anything because your

From a seal who underwent waterboarding during his training to
prepare him for the combat zone in Vietnam. Jesse Ventura:
You Give Me a Water Board, Dick Cheney and One Hour...

Regards, Hans.

Last edited by a moderator:
lisab
Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
Where is the line is irrelevant. What is relevant is to be as far as possible from the line, not as close as possible according to the official texts.
This is a great guideline, humanino. If we're so close to the line that we have to question if we have crossed it...then we have crossed it.