Thursday, November 11, 2010

President George W. Bush: Torturer

by César Chelala, CommonDreams.org, Nov 10, 2010

In his recently published memoirs called Decision Points, and in interviews publicizing those memoirs, former President Bush makes it clear his stand on what many consider a basic human rights violation: the use of waterboarding as a torture technique. With characteristic insouciance, Mr. Bush expresses his unqualified support for torture.

Waterboarding is one of the most cruel torture techniques, used in many countries worldwide. The technique has been practiced, among others, by the Spanish Inquisition and by the French paratroopers in Algeria. It has been also used by American soldiers in Vietnam and by the British Army in Northern Ireland.

During waterboarding, the subject is immobilized keeping his back with the head inclined downwards. Water is then poured over the face and then it goes into breathing passages and triggers a reflex causing the subject to experience the sensation of drowning. CIA officers who volunteered to experience the technique have lasted an average of 14 seconds before capitulating.

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