Torture's Ok But Simulating Torture Will Get You Arrested

By Dennis Loo

David Swanson's recent "US Government Threatens to Prosecute Waterboarding” article is posted here at World Can't Wait.

The title is an exciting development for those of us who have been waiting anxiously for precisely that headline.

Except that the waterboarding that our government is threatening to prosecute isn't the waterboarding that Cheney has touted the virtues of.

It's not for those who carried it out the 186 times that it was done to two known detainees: Khalid Sheik Mohammed and Abu Zubadyah.

It's not for those in unknown and known locations like Abu Ghraib and Bagram who've been subjected to suffocation by water. 


No, in their great wisdom, the US government is threatening to prosecute those who were planning to demonstrate what waterboarding is like in DC at Thursday's anti-torture rally.

The proponents of waterboarding like to describe waterboarding as "simulated drowning."  It's not simulated anything. It's actual drowning, except the purpose isn't to fully suffocate those being tortured. The purpose is to stop just short of that finality. But let's accept their definition for the moment and say that according to our government "Simulated Drowning is OK, but Simulating a Simulation is Not." 

Swanson's article begins this way:

"People have been protesting and lobbying the Department of Justice all these months without realizing that the key to justice lay in the Department of the Interior, and specifically in the National Park Service, which has told activist Steve Lane he will be prosecuted if he attempts to demonstrate waterboarding at Thursday's anti-torture rally in Washington, D.C. The permit for the rally reads 'Waterboarding exhibit will not be allowed for safety reasons.'"

You can read the rest here.