13 May 2009

The Butter-Cutter On Waterboarding/Torture

I arrived in the virtual Mess Hall just as The Butter-Cutter was securing his station after noon chow. On seeing me, he said, “I read that there's another investigation goin' on about this waterboardin' shit. It's been years since the last time the CIA did this stuff 'n' they're still investigatin' it? How much longer is this gonna go on?” he asked. (1)

'Well,” I started groping for an explanation, “torture is a serious issue and . . .”

“Hold on!” The Butter-Cutter said on interjecting. “ Where in the f*** did this idea come from that waterboardin' is torture 'n' not legal?” he asked.

“In 1988, the U.S. signed a U.N. Convention against torture which describes it as the intentional infliction on a person of 'severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental,' “ I explained (2)

“Does that . . . Convention talk about waterboardin'?”

“No” I answered. “Since waterboarding induces the sensation of drowning and that sensation qualifies as severe pain, waterboarding constitutes torture as banned by the Convention.“

“OK, officer-type, can the Armed Forces of the U.S. of A. torture its troops?' The Butter-Cutter asked.

“OF COURSE NOT! That is patently illegal!” I declared with conviction.

“Oh, yeah, then how come guys goin' through that Survival Evasion Resistance Escape, SERE, trainin' were waterboarded if waterboardin' is torture 'n' torture is against the law?” he questioned further. “In fact, I heard that's where the CIA got that shit . . . from them SERE courses.”

Damn it, I thought to myself, have I bit off more than I can chew here? Then I related with hesitancy, “Yes, I, too, heard that the CIA borrowed the waterboarding technique from SERE training. I'm not a lawyer, but there appears to be a difference between using waterboarding in training and its use in other situations. The Convention qualifies severe pain and suffering in terms of intent. It does so by saying that the severe pain and suffering is torture when it is inflicted on someone for the purposes of gaining information or a confession, punishment, coercion, intimidation, or discrimination. So, it appears that using waterboarding in training does not run afoul of this Convention.” I explained with a tentative sigh of relief. (2) 

“So, it's OK fer the Spear-Chuckers ta f*** over the GOOD guys but we can't do it ta the BAD guys. Where have I heard that before? I got a question fer ya: How about we just take the board outta waterboardin' 'n' hold the motherf***'s head under water until after the last bubble comes up? Would that be OK?” (3)

“No! No! The issue is severe pain and suffering. It does not matter how you do it: It is the effect that is banned!' I explained with a note of irritation.

“Yeah! Yeah! I hear ya. But who says that the little drownin' sensation in waterboardin' is severe pain 'n' sufferin'?”

“Oh my gosh! Didn't you hear? Of the three detainees the CIA waterboarded, one had this done to him 183 times and another 83 times! That is NOT a 'little drowning sensation'!” I shot back. (4) 

“ 'Had this done ta him' . . . ? What I heard was that them numbers were the total GLASSES O' WATER poured on 'em 'n' not the total number o' different times they were TIED TA THE BOARD 'n' had water poured on 'em! AGAIN, who says this 'sensation' is severe pain 'n' sufferin'? “

“Recently, President Obama said so.” I answered.

“Well bite my ass! The Demoncrat President says it's torture 'n' the Republican president before him said it wasn't torture! That makes the score a freakin' tie! Is that about right?”

“NO! Before President Obama was elected, Republican Senator John McCain said it was torture as well”

“Whoop-de-do! ONE Republican Senator! How many Demoncrats in the House 'n' Senate also said it? Too many ta count! THAT was AFTER a bunch o' them maggot Demoncrats sat on intelligence committees, took one briefin' after another about this waterboardin' shit from CIA briefers, 'n' didn't say a F***IN' WORD AGAINST IT; 'n', that includes the DEMONCRAT MAGGETTE SPEAKER O' THE HOOCH, Nancy Pelosi! She 'n' the rest o' them DEMONCRATS waited until it leaked out 'n' then screamed TORTURE! Well, I'll tell ya somethin'; ta this Snuffy's way o' thinkin', by not bitchin' about this shit when they were briefed, them Demoncrats got no call ta bitch after. I'll tell ya somethin' else, if anybody goes down over this shit, them Demoncrats aughtta be with 'em fer their silence was as good as an OK.” (5)

“This is bizarre. With all the commentary we have had in the public domain on this issue, you still fail to see waterboarding as being torture and illegal,” I told The Butter-Cutter in amazement.

“Man, YOU don't get shit! Opinions are like ass holes, everybody's got at least one; 'n', on waterboardin' bein' torture 'n' not legal, the opinions are not only different but some smell like they came from ass holes. Fer the military, it was an easy fix: they put out a manual listin' the only things military interrogators can do. But this shit is all about civilian CIA interrogators 'n' it ain’t gonna be over ‘til the Supremes say whether waterboardin’ is good ta go er not.” (6)

Semper . . . 

Anthony F. Milavic

Major USMC (Ret.) 

(1) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/09/AR2009050902489.html

(2) http://www.hrweb.org/legal/cat.html

(3) http://www.thebutter-cutter.com/The_DoD_Spear-Chuckers.html

(4) http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/20/world/20detain.html

(5) http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/05/10/MN3617F7S3.DTL

(6) http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/11/AR2009051103416.html


Waddaya think?

 Will Clifford said:   July 3rd, 2009 10:48 am

 Actually I think that all of the members of Congress subjected to water-boarding in order to convince them to make it "legal."

maddy said:   May 13th, 2009 1:30 pm

 Does it REALLY matter what the LAWS says are CRUEL & undue torture or Punishment .. The way I see it is there is going to be someone in every military group who will afflict undo pain . Not everyone plays by the rules .

USMC (Ret.) said:   May 13th, 2009 9:25 am

 Pathetically, the butter cutter is right: this political football is going to be kicked around until the Supreme Court takes the air out of it by deciding if waterboarding is lawful or not. I would like to suggest another hope for a solution: The American people come to the realization this is a political football as evidenced by the recent revelation that many of its most energetic kickers, the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and her colleagues on the intelligence committees, knew about this for years and gave it tacit bipartisan support by saying nothing until it was leaked to the media. Unfortunately, I don't see either resolution on the horizon.

Major Joe Homer, USMC (Ret) said:   May 13th, 2009 8:49 am

 This 'waterboarding' issue is so far down on the pecking order of important issues to be discussed or resolved compared to the wars, economy, health, social security, infrastructure, inter alia, that it should be tabled UFN!

Mike Hipius said:   May 13th, 2009 6:29 am

 Anthony- "SpearChuckers"?- I thought they were Towel Heads and Camel Jockeys... In they future I suggest they subject all detainees to speaches by Obama and videos of Pelosi, maybe toss in a little rap music in the background and photos of a few gaylords holding hands.

sniperbait '66 said:   May 13th, 2009 5:47 am

 If it was OK to use on us in SERE School, screw the Demoncrats AND the friggin' terrorists. BUT and this is a BIG BUT, I don't want those DHS bastards, or those CIA pimps and the 'Friggin' Butthole Idiots' (FBI traitors) using that crap on 16 year old American kids they kidnap in the middle of the night. Or any other American for that matter. You can bet your arse they are torturing Americans they've "disappeared" using their modern "Letters De Cachet". Patriot Act My ass, a bunch of Nazis is what they are. They keep this SH*T up and they are gonna wind up with a full fledged French type Revolution on their hands. I don't want my family killed by a bunch of wild men or government pukes that have no souls. Anyone busts down my door in the dead of night gets a dirt nap.