I missed the Republican codpiece festival (link) in South Carolina last night, but I’ve read chunks of the transcript. Brit Hume asked some of the candidates about “enhanced interrogation techniques”—waterboarding and suchlike Here are some responses, with a followup from the history of the English East India Company.
MR. ROMNEY: … And enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used -- not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques, yes.
REP. TANCREDO: … You say that -- that nuclear devices have gone off in the United States, more are planned, and we're wondering about whether waterboarding would be a -- a bad thing to do? I'm looking for "Jack Bauer" at that time, let me tell you. (Laughter, applause.)
MR. HUNTER: … even if it involves very high-pressure techniques, one sentence: Get the information.
MR. GIULIANI: -- and I would -- and I would -- well, I'd say every method they could think of, and I would support them in doing that because I've seen what -- (interrupted by applause) --
For the assistance of Republican candidates in preparing for future debates, I offer this account of what the Dutch did at Amboyna in
Typically the prisoner was spread-eagled on a vertical rack that was in fact a door frame. A cylindrical sleeve of material was then slipped over his head and tightly secured at the neck with a tourniquet.
That done, they poured the water softly upon his head until the cloth was full up to the mouth and nostrils and somewhat higher; so that he could not draw breath but must withal suck in the water; which still being poured in softly, forced all his inward partes [and] came out of his nose, eares and eyes; and often as it were stifling him, at length took his breath away and brought him to a swoone or fainting.
The prisoner was then freed and encouraged to vomit. Then the treatment began agan. After thus being topped up three or four times ‘his body was swollen twice or thrice as big as before, his cheeks like great bladders, and his eyes staring and strutting out beyond his forehead.’
--John Keay, The Honourable Comopany 48-9 (Paperback ed. 1993)
[One noteworthy exception to the chorus last night: Senator John McCain, who said, inter alia: “… the interesting thing about that aspect is that during the debate, when we had the detainee treatment act, there was a sharp division between those who had served in the military and those who hadn't. Virtually every senior officer, retired or active- duty… agreed with my position that we should not torture people. …
So yes, literally every retired military person and active duty military person who has actually been in battle and served for extended times in the military -- (bell rings) -- supported my position, and I'm glad of it."]