Sunday, December 16, 2007

A tortured defense of "waterboarding"

The name is Bond--Kit Bond, a Republican senator from Missouri, and an apologist for torture. And ludicrous.

On the PBS Newshour, Bond told Gwen Ifill that waterboarding is like swimming. This has been given a lot of play on the net, and here is the full post from Think Progress,with video. (follow their links for background)

Bond's outrageous comments drew some heavy response and so he tried to save the day by explaining himself on Washington Journal. As you'll see, he didn't help matters. From Crooks and Liars:

There is really nothing of substance I can add, but that won't stop me from some sarcasm and a little speculation. First off, Is Kit Bond a swimmer? Can he do the backstroke with his arms strapped to his sides? Can we make him try?

Can we go to the "Y" for waterboarding lessons? Do they offer family discounts?

Whatever possessed the Geneva Conventions to ban swimming?

If waterboarding is only torture the way the Japanese did it in WWII, by pouring water into the lungs of their "guests", is our way OK because we put a cloth over the mouths to strain out impurities from the water as it goes in?

If waterboarding should be a technique acceptable for use in "national emergencies", then wouldn't it also be OK for use in "local emergencies? Why not?

How long before the federal government makes funds available to local police agencies for the construction of waterboarding rooms?

Can parents use this on kids in a "family emergency"?

There may be a time when my speculations are totally irrelevant, but I'm not holding my breath.

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