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America First Party
1630 A 30th Street #111
Boulder, Colorado 80301

Friday, December 14, 2007

Waterboarding -- Is it Torture?

Boulder, CO -- CIA officers who have been subjected to it have not been able to endure it for longer than 14 seconds. According to confidential CIA sources previously in communication with ABC News, it is the last stage of a progressive series of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" which have been used on a handful of top Al Qaeda suspects at secret overseas locations. The question is, does it violate U.S. law by meeting the definition of torture? On Tuesday, former CIA agent John Kiriakou said it does, and recent revelations of destroyed CIA interrogation tapes suggest a possible CIA coverup.

Waterboarding simulates death, and the person is led to believe that he is being killed, says John Sifton of Human Rights Watch. Henri Alleg, a journalist who was waterboarded in Algeria during the French colonial war, states that it causes water to enter the lungs, and that many, including himself, fainted from the resulting stress. He says that his captors repeatedly brought him to the edge of death, and then revived him. Some died after fainting, he said, because it was impossible to breath, and this "was very frequent."

ABCís sources describe the CIAís method as similar, but the description suggests the possibility that their version may not allow water into the lungs: "The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning" results.

In 1947, a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor after the United States charged him with war crimes for waterboarding a U.S. civilian. In 1926, in Fisher vs. State, the Mississippi Supreme Court overturned a black manís murder conviction because it was obtained via waterboarding, which the court referred to as "a specie of torture well known to the bench and bar of the country."

National Secretary John Hey stated, "When it came to outright torture of detainees, the segregationists of the 1920s who sat upon the Mississippi Supreme Court had more moral insight and courage than the recently confirmed United States Attorney General. The fact that Mr. Mukasey cannot say whether waterboarding constitutes torture demonstrates the moral degeneracy that has taken hold in the highest levels of the Republican Party."

Jonathan Hill, National Chairman, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 4
John Schweingrouber, Press Secretary, 1-866-SOS-USA1, ext. 2


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