Waterboarding – What’s All the Fuss About?

It’s been a while since I muttered anything provocative… So – lest the world start falling in love with me – I’d better stir up some controversy just for the sake of it…


Waterboarding, despite sounding like a fun beach activity (like sandcastle building), is apparently lambasted as a cruel form of torture.  “Nonsense”, say I.  It’s a fairly necessary, if painful, fact of life – very much like getting your wisdom tooth removed.  Let’s look at the facts:

Waterboarding is not lethal

Like MMR jabs, waterboarding is a perfectly safe – and well tested – form of interrogation.  As far as I am aware, no-one has actually drowned or otherwise died from waterboarding techniques.  It’s as permanently harmful as a particularly smelly fart.  In short, there is no lasting physical damage.  In fact, one could argue (weakly) that enduring waterboarding may actually have positive health benefits – being able to hold your breath for longer, being one such bonus.

As for psychological damage?  Well, just about everyone has encountered at least one harrowing psychological event in their lives (like accidentally peeing themselves while having a night in the town).  We deal with it, get over it, and move on.  Let’s face it – frightening though it may be at the time, people like to boast about scars and broken legs and near-misses after the fact.  Being interrogated by waterboarding is just another badge of honour to wear and boast about!


Waterboarding saves lives

Waterboarding, as an intelligence gathering technique, has a reasonable success rate.  If it didn’t – then more effective (and potentially more permanently damaging) techniques would have been employed.  Now – neither our government nor the US government is likely to be able to divulge exactly what incidents have been prevented thanks to intelligence gathered by waterboarding interrogations (for our own national security, you understand).  But most certainly, lives have been saved due to information gathered by waterboarding.  And if we don’t have faith in the word of our democratically elected leaders, we may as well move to China or Zimbabwe where the ruling party don’t even pretend that you have a say…



Optional Interrogations

Well then – I think I’ve fairly well elucidated how waterboarding is completely acceptable – the double-whammy of saving lives without taking any is quite a nice combination.

Of course – you have the human rights activists who are all about mollycoddling people with cotton gloves.  However, in this wonderfully democratic society (that waterboarding techniques have been invented for in order to keep safe) they are most certainly entitled to have an opinion.

And definitely, we need to be seen to be a benevolent and respectful country.  Which is why I propose the two-stage interrogation technique – thus giving potential life-takers the option of how they wish to divulge information.

Naturally – being a civil British lot – we’d offer them a lovely cup of tea with biscuits, and have a pleasant natter for information gathering.  For civil and intelligent terrorists – they know that they will ultimately have to divulge any information our governments require, and proffering information at this early stage will save a lot of hassle, pain and bad feeling all around.  However, should they not appreciate the tea/biscuit gesture, then we’ll all have to go through the non-lethal, less convenient interrogation routine.

But really – along with flu jabs, pulling wisdom teeth and removing appendices, what is all the fuss about?

3 thoughts on “Waterboarding – What’s All the Fuss About?

  1. Not sure how you come to the conclusion that it has saved lives.

    First up, grim video of someone voluntarily being waterboarded:

    The guy speaks of having recurring nightmares since the experiment

    7/7 Survivors take on the ethics of waterboarding:

    Some more details on how bad this practice is:

    Long term physical effects can include pneumonia and hypoxia

    Torture can lead to false information:

    Can’t find the article, but false links were made between Saddam and Al Queda which have since been proven false.

    And finally a quote from Reservoir Dogs (just to keep this light hearted):
    “You beat on this prick enough, he’ll tell ya he started the Chicago fire. That don’t necessarily make it so.”


  2. Waterboarding terrorists after they stroke doesn’t save lives. They already stroke. Teamwork between agencies saves lives. Like finding out that a bunch of guys are working on hijacking planes on the WTC. Waterboarding, first and foremost, is laziness.


  3. Well – I’d argue that, rather than a form of laziness – waterboarding is merely one of many tools employed by the intelligence services to gather information.

    True – agencies need to work better with each other and to share information and collaborate with one another, but that doesn’t discount continuing to use as many forms of information gathering as possible.


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