Conservative talk show host waterboarded

  • #1
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.)
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
mgb_phys
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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.
 
  • #3
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.
 
  • #4
CRGreathouse
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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.
 
  • #5
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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.
 
  • #6
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He wasn't the first to do this. I think they're starting to do it for publicity now.
 
  • #7
CRGreathouse
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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.
 
  • #8
CRGreathouse
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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.
 
  • #9
Gokul43201
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I heard about this on NPR yesterday, and I looked it up later.

qUkj9pjx3H0[/youtube] Christophe...e debate of whether waterboarding is torture.
 
  • #10
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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?
 
  • #11
LowlyPion
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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."
 
  • #12
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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.
 
  • #13
LowlyPion
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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.
 
  • #14
turbo
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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.
 
  • #15
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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.
 
  • #16
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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.
 
  • #17
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...
 
  • #18
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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.
 
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  • #19
LowlyPion
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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.
 
  • #20
turbo
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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.
 
  • #21
Evo
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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.
 
  • #22
LowlyPion
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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.
 
  • #23
Hans de Vries
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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
hands and feet are tight and your head hold down.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="500" height="405"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/oO7N10ebNQk&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&border=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/oO7N10ebNQk&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="500" height="405"></embed></object>

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...


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="500" height="405"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/zoqmH49VBC0&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&border=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/zoqmH49VBC0&hl=en&fs=1&color1=0x5d1719&color2=0xcd311b&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="500" height="405"></embed></object>


Regards, Hans.
 
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  • #24
lisab
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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.

Wish the previous administration had this insight.
 
  • #25
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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.

Wish the previous administration had this insight.

So, I give up. These are lowly political hacks with no credibility, or we're seeing compelling videos displaying the actions of credible guys. I'm from Missouri.
 
  • #26
I remember hearing in the newsback when this first became a big story that some military higher ups had decided to under go waterboarding to determine for themselves what they thought of the practice. Apparently the best time was 12 seconds. I'm sure you can guess how they decided they felt about the procedure.

So, I give up. These are lowly political hacks with no credibility, or we're seeing compelling videos displaying the actions of credible guys. I'm from Missouri.
Different standards of credibility?
Perhaps if they were from Missouri too they would have said "show me" before spending the last year or so discussing the topic from an "uninformed" perspective?
 
  • #27
AhmedEzz
May I ask you this, is water boarding the worst of the things that was going down in Guantanamo bay or is there anything else?
 
  • #28
Ivan Seeking
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May I ask you this, is water boarding the worst of the things that was going down in Guantanamo bay or is there anything else?

I have heard unofficial reports of some deaths resulting from abuse. While there may be some truth in that, at this time I don't know that any of those claims come with credible evidence. A quick google did yield this report from the Red Cross. I have barely glanced at it but it appears to be pretty good.

http://www.nybooks.com/icrc-report.pdf

It is also common knowledge that some of the inmates throw cocktails of feces, urine, and semen, at the camp personnel.
 
  • #29
cristo
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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.

So you're against torture, but you would like to torture "pus-bags" and "jerks" like the above. This doesn't make you any better than them; in fact, it makes you worse! Your actions would be some sort of vigilante action, as opposed to interrogationvwhich is where the water-boarding you oppose is being used.
 
  • #30
May I ask you this, is water boarding the worst of the things that was going down in Guantanamo bay or is there anything else?

In most prisons things happen that are not supposed to. Prisoners get abused. General prisons though have hundreds or thousands of prisoners and are not a matter of national security so there is less scrutiny and it is much easier for such transgressions to be hidden. If a prisoner winds up with broken bones who's to say it didn't happen in a fight with another prisoner? and who's likely to believe the prisoner if he says otherwise?

Guantanamo is under much closer scrutiny and has no where near the same number of prisoners and guards to keep track of so making sure such things don't happen is alot easier. Its possible, and even quite likely, that some guards and/or interrogators have abused prisoners above and beyond the government sanctioned procedures. Its also possible that they got away with it and had any one been caught and punished we probably would not have heard about it if the government could help it.

As far as government sanctioned treatment of prisoners I believe waterboarding is the worst of the procedures. Anything else would be the subject of a conspiracy theory, and I don't necessarily mean something "fictional" or "crazy" when I say that.
 
  • #31
AhmedEzz
Thanks for the rational explanation.
 
  • #32
turbo
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So you're against torture, but you would like to torture "pus-bags" and "jerks" like the above. This doesn't make you any better than them; in fact, it makes you worse! Your actions would be some sort of vigilante action, as opposed to interrogationvwhich is where the water-boarding you oppose is being used.
Sorry. The apologists for water-boarding claim that it leaves no lasting harm, does not cause organ failure, etc and therefore is not torture. They say this knowing full well that the military has considered this procedure to be torture for decades, and that the rest of the world agrees. If they were threatened with waterboarding, they would change their tunes very quickly.

The Cheneys and Limbaughs of the right-wing are NOT making this country any safer. They are poster-boys for the recruitment of radical fundamentalists and in fact are increasing the odds that any captured US service-members would be be subject to torture. Neither of them served in the military, yet they revel in war as long as somebody else is in harm's way.
 
  • #33
cristo
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The Cheneys and Limbaughs of the right-wing are NOT making this country any safer.

Regardless, you can't on the one hand condemn them for allowing torture and then, on the other hand, threaten to use torture on them to teach them a lesson. That's not the way countries, governments, etc.. change for the better!
 
  • #34
Gokul43201
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May I ask you this, is water boarding the worst of the things that was going down in Guantanamo bay or is there anything else?
I haven't seen or read about evidence for any other questionable/abusive techniques used there, but there have been allegations. And since the CIA admitted to destroying the tapes documenting the interrogations, we may never know what went on.

This may be relevant, though I find the responses from the defense attorney answering irritatingly evasive/unhelpful:

PmYx7ohPkL0[/youtube]
 
  • #35
May I ask you this, is water boarding the worst of the things that was going down in Guantanamo bay or is there anything else?

There were other forms of torture used there. The prisoners were punched, kicked, and in other ways beaten, they were held nude for long periods, their families were threatened, they were sleep deprived, they were held in stress positions for hours upon end, they were denied access to a toilet and forced to go in a diaper, they were made to swear that they had renounced Islam (which goes against everything Islam stands for), and they were confined in a box.

This is shameful for America.
 

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