Is it torture if you can volunteer for it and then talk about it while you're undergoing the treatment? It hardly seems the same as having one's fingernails pulled out. The guy in this video has himself subjected to the controversial interrogation technique called waterboarding, a technique critics call torture, but he certainly seems none the worse for the experience.
Anyway, when a terrorist is subjected to waterboarding in order to extract information that might save the life of one of your children, the terrorist is in complete control of how long it lasts. All he has to do is produce the information and it's over. Opponents of this technique, however, think that terrorists should have the right to withhold information that could save your child's life and should not be subjected to unpleasant experiences to make them give it up.
Here's a question for those who might be disturbed by the video of three men holding down the subject: Imagine the scene in a Civil War field hospital where men had to hold down a wounded soldier so that the surgeon could amputate his leg without anasthesia in order to save his life. What is the moral difference between what the surgeon's assistants did in holding down a screaming soldier in order to save his life and what modern interrogators do in holding down a panicky terrorist in order to save the lives of innocent civilians?
If you go to the post at Democratic Underground the guy talks about his experience of being waterboarded. He seems to be saying that since he couldn't take the treatment for more than a few seconds it must therefore truly be torture. This is a weird argument. If we accept it then we have to say that any technique that gets a terrorist to talk is ipso facto torture and therefore should be considered banned by the Geneva Conventions.
If the terrorist spills his guts after a few minutes of listening to AC/DC that would be torture according to the guy at Democrat Underground, but this is nonsense. Whatever torture is it doesn't consist simply in being unendurable.RLC