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…or psychotic thug? Take your pick. Or choose both.

Representative Denny Hoskins (r – noun, verb, CPA) has been flippantly posting on torture via Twitter:

Other U.S. “torture” methods of global terrorists included putting a caterpillar in a dark cell with one of the terrorists…How scary! about 2 hours ago from web

Some U.S. military training includes being waterboarded to know how to deal with it if captured by the enemy…about 2 hours ago from web

Here’s something on the subject of torture from someone who just received a journalism award from The Sidney Hillman Foundation (you know, someone who actually knows how to do and does basic research):

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Was Waterboarded 183 Times in One Month

By: emptywheel Saturday April 18, 2009 11:57 am

…The CIA wants you to believe waterboarding is effective. Yet somehow, it took them 183 applications of the waterboard in a one month period to get what they claimed was cooperation out of KSM.

That doesn’t sound very effective to me…

And there is the matter of the peremptory norms of international law (you, know, for civilized nations):

The United States, as a party to the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (Tokyo War Crimes Trials) in the aftermath of World War II, prosecuted individuals as war criminals who tortured prisoners by waterboarding them:

Changi Prison, October 1943

… The Japanese were trying to establish that there was a spy organization in Changi Prison which received and transmitted by radio telephony, which had established contacts in the town for the purpose of sabotage and [12937] stirring up of  anti-Japanese feeling, and which collected money from outside for this purpose. In fact, there was no organization, no radio transmission and no attempt to promote anti-Japanese activities outside the Camp…[12939]

…Usually interrogations started quietly and would continue as long as the inquisitors got the expected answers. If, for any reason, such answers were not forthcoming, physical violence was immediately…

…[12940] employed. The methods used were:

(1) Water Torture. There were two forms of water torture. In the first, the victim was tied or held down on his back and a cloth placed over his nose and mouth. Water was then poured on the cloth

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 12,936.

[emphasis added]

The witness saw Chinese, Malay and Indian prisoners tortured and stated that three Chinese died after undergoing water torture.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 12,959.

(5) The prisoner was blindfolded, then a large quantity of water slowly poured into his mouth and nostrils, so that the prisoner suffocated.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 12,982.

MR. JUSTICE MANSFIELD: These documents describe the torture of the witnesses by… who beat and kicked them and ordered them to be tortured by the water method.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 13,186.

When…did not succeed in getting anything out of me, he gave me the water test. ..I was tied to the bench with my hands cuffed on my back. At a certain moment my agony was such that I broke the handcuffs…

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 13,684.

…Professor DE VRIES suffered the watertest 22 times during a period of 2 months, and his interrogation amounted to 500 hours in toto. Prosecution document 5750.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 13,686.


Various tortures were administered during interrogation, the main one being ‘Water Torture,’ which is done by laying a person flat on a bench with his head overhanging one end. A funnel is then placed in the mouth and water forced into the abdomen and the lungs. The torturer then jumps on the stomach of his victim, producing a drowning sensation.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 14,168.

The water treatment consisted of lashing a man down face up across the desk top.  A bath towel  is then so rolled as to form a circle around his nose and mouth, and a five-gallon can of water, which was generally with the vilest of human refuse and other filth, such as kerosene, was then put handy. The man was then [14182] questioned, and if he did not respond, the water was poured into the space made by the bath towel, forcing the prisoner either to swallow and…

…inhale the vile concoction or to strangle himself. This is kept up, questioning between doses, until the man is at a point of unconsciousness. Shortly before unconsciousness is reached, the man is frequently beaten across the belly with a small iron rod.. After consciousness has left, he is usually suspended by the heels from a tackle overhead and the water allowed to drain out of him. When he has sufficiently recuperated, the treatment is resumed.

International Military Tribunal for the Far East – Proceedings, p. 14,181.

I sure hope Denny Hoskins’ familiarity with the rules of accounting are better than his understanding of history, federal statutes, treaty obligations, and international law.

I weep for our people, our state, and our nation.