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Reporter Agrees to Be Waterboarded, Lasts 11 Seconds

Mammoth Sniper Challenge
Mammoth Sniper Challenge
January 26, 2017
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Waterboarding - even within the communities that utilize the practice, it is a controversial topic. On the one hand, many in favor laud it as a quick and effective way to gather information from the world's criminals. But on the other, there is a varying degree of gray. Some argue that, under such extreme distress, a person would confess to anything just to be able to breathe. Still more consider to practice not only impractical but the most inhumane torture method out there, and that the United States should not be associated with it.Even James Mattis, our new Secretary of Defense, prefers other methods to waterboarding. In an interview with the New York Times, Donald Trump remarked on his conversation with the retired General about the practice:"General Mattis is a strong, highly dignified man. I met with him at length and I asked him that question. I said, 'What do you think of waterboarding? He said -- I was surprised -- he said, 'I've never found it to be useful.' He said, 'I've always found, give me a pack of cigarettes and a couple of beers and I do better with that than I do with torture.' I'm not saying it changed my mind. Look, we have people that are chopping off heads and drowning people in steel cages and we're not allowed to waterboard. But I'll tell you what, I was impressed by that answer."

Most of us, whatever our position on waterboarding, will never come close to experiencing it unless we volunteer to do so. That's precisely what Christopher Hitchens did, after stating his belief that there was a clear divide between "enhanced interrogation" and true torture, and that waterboarding was not torture. The scenario he walked into wasn't as extreme as what a suspected terrorist would go through, but it didn't have to be. He was done after 11 seconds, and his mind was changed on the subject completely. He wrote this editorial after the ordeal.It's striking how tame those eleven seconds look from the outside. Perhaps it's that subtlety that makes waterboarding so controversial to this day.

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