The Vice President stopped hedging a couple days ago and simply admitted that the US practices waterboarding. Cheney was being interviewed on a right wing talk show on WDAY in North Dakota, when he called the acceptability of waterboarding "a no-brainer." The story has been weirdly absent from the big mainstream media, but the transcript of the interview is just right here on the whitehouse website, and an article is here at the a group called the McClatchy Newspapers and in a small piece in the North Country's own Watertown Daily Times. .
Coincidentally, we also have some nice new graphics today showing just what waterboarding is. David Corn has an interview up with Jonah Blank an anthropologist and journalist who has returned from Cambodia with pictures of the waterboarding apparatus used by the Khymer Rouge as a part of one of the great genocides of the 20th century. Here it is.
Here is how it is used
Blank emphasizes in the interview that the Khymer Rouge did not use waterboarding to extract information. They did it to extract confessions for show trials before their victim was ritually killed. Bottom line: "They-- like so many brutal regimes--made waterboarding one of their primary tools for a simple reason: it is one of the most viciously effective forms of torture ever devised." Check the whole story out.
The McClatchy papers also have a nice graphic explaining how waterboarding is done.
And one more thing: A taxonomy of torture techniques from Slate.
hat tips to majikthise, and Bart Harloe and Ken Gould on the SOC listserv.