Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Water Boarding: Hiding the Evidence of a Sordid History

790 words
by William Loren Katz
A few days after
New York Times reported [front page December 7,, 2007] that in 2005 the CIA destroyed at least two videotapes that documented its use of waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods, the Washington Post revealed the CIA in 2002 informed Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and other top legislators about waterboarding. Some politicians urged the CIA on -- and all kept the secret. Waterboarding, official denial that it constitutes torture, and concealment of its use, share a long history.
President George Bush has admitted the United States used “waterboarding” while denying that it's a form of torture, and has repeatedly stated, “America does not torture.” In an October 2006 radio interview on Fargo, North Dakota's WDAY, Vice President Dick Cheney told radio host Scott Hennen that waterboarding is “a very important tool that we've had,” insisted “We need to continue that,” and called it no more than “dunking” some one under water. He also added that the United States does not torture.
For five centuries, waterboarding has been a used as torture in several variations. The method that gives the torture its name involves strapping the captive to a board and repeatedly pushing his head into a tub of water until his lungs fill and he nearly drowns. ...(for exclusive 24-hour consideration of this full text and 24-hour first option for free first serial rights, contact us).

*William Loren Katz is the author of forty U.S. history books, has been affiliated with New York University since 1973, and his website is WILLIAMLKATZ.COM This essay draws from his book, "The Cruel Years: American Voices at the Dawn of the 20th Century" [Beacon Press, 2003] an even more heavily from Stuart Creighton Miller, "Benevolent Assimilation" [Yale University Press, 1982].

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