A controversial interrograiton procedure, known as "waterboarding," is often in the news over the last year or two. Most people have no idea about what this term actually means or what happens when a person is waterboarded. P1ak364_water_20080130200037_2 I have several former-military friends who assure me that it is a horrible experience that makes you actually feel like you will die and in some cases it will cause death. Two articles appeared in today’s Wall Street Journal about waterboarding. They are interesting for entirely different reasons.

Three young men decided to try out waterboarding and then write about it. If you want to see how horrific this practice really is then read their account.

Democrats have made a great deal politically out of this practice in their reaction to the confirmation, and now the service, of Attorney General Michael Mukasey. Hcgk680_mukase_20070917194326 Mukasey will not respond the way these Democrats want him to respond to their inquiries but steadfastly insists that nothing illegal is being done in the war on terror. If Democrats can somehow link waterboarding to the Republicans then they have a "hot button" issue. The Wall Street Journal, in its Review & Outlook section, has an article on their opposition to Mukasey on this issue. It too is important to read.

Some readers will recall that it was Republican Senator John McCain, often parting with his own party on such issues, who stood very strongly against this practice when it was debated some months ago. I thought then, and still think now, that anyone who has undergone torture at the hands of the enemy in wartime ought to be listened to carefully in such debates. I still think the same after reading these two articles this morning. I hope reasonable people will look into this practice more carefully and understand it better than they do. I also hope that they will then stand against it, as they should, for ethical and moral reasons. This is not a partisan issue and should not become one in this election year. We must protect the nation against terrorism but there are some ways of doing it that are simply not right. This is clearly one of them.

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  1. Adam S January 31, 2008 at 1:32 pm

    I frankly don’t know how we can call ourselves Christians and not be against torture. I have heard a republican pundit suggest that, not only is torture not immoral, but it is actually immoral to not support torture. This person was citing an immanent threat, but this is an unreasonable argument. Either the threat is not immanent and torture is not warranted, or if the threat is immanent the terrorist has likely prepared for torture. Either way, torture is only useful if you want to get false information. Christian need to stand up and make their voice heard. This is a place where the National Association of Evangelicals has a good statement. If only our Christian leaders did some follow up. Our Attorney General needs some of that presure to help him understand that waterboarding and other forms of torture are unacceptable.

  2. Lauren January 31, 2008 at 3:21 pm

    Amen and amen.

  3. jls January 31, 2008 at 10:50 pm

    Didn’t John McCain state in the Mukasey confirmation hearings that the waterboarding issue is a political red herring because it is no longer being used by the United States?

  4. Gene Redlin February 1, 2008 at 9:32 am

    I am a Christian. I am not against torture, at least the way liberals define it.
    Using terror to threaten pain and punishment to get someone’s attention or even to get someones admissions is a proven and practical method.
    Otherwise, Jesus wasted his time telling the story of the Rich Man and Lazarus.
    Why did he do that?

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