Congress Should’ve Waterboarded Itself

Andrew Sullivan —  Apr 15 2011 @ 10:14am

R.M. at DiA promotes a new study on the empathy gap with regard to pain and torture:

Participants were asked to evaluate the pain resulting from three interrogation techniques—exposure to cold temperatures, sleep deprivation and solitary confinement. Some of the participants made their judgments while experiencing a mild version of the pain associated with those techniques, while others were placed in normal conditions. The results turned out as expected. Those who experienced some of the same discomfort and pain as the interrogation technique were more likely to classify that technique as torture.

Conclusion: policymakers should be waterboarded before debating new interrogation techniques. Or, as the authors put it, "judgments made in a state of pain are more fully informed, and hence more valid, than those made in the absence of pain."

More to the point: Congress should be forced into a stress position for long periods of time, with no toilet breaks. Or covered in water and left in a room air-conditioned to hypothermic levels. Or force-fed. Too much attention is paid to waterboarding, one of the less common torture techniques deployed by the US government under president Bush and vice-president Cheney.