A reader writes:

As judge advocate familiar with both the law of war and with SERE training, let me say that there is a huge difference between waterboarding in SERE training and waterboarding prisoners or detainees. We have a volunteer military and participation in the SERE school is voluntary. The military does not force any servicemembers to undergo waterboarding and for those who do elect to have this training, the waterboarding will cease immediately if the servicemember signals for it to stop. The experience is quite limited in duration. Since participation in the is voluntary and the servicemember can elect to stop at anytime, this is simply training which, while unpleasant, is not torture.

Prisoners who are waterboarded do not agree to be waterboarded and, while undergoing this torture, they have no control whatsoever and do not know when, or if, the torture will stop. And indeed, we know that some individuals were subjected to this torture repeatedly and for extended periods of time, causing severe psychological damage.

To their everlasting credit and honor, the Judge Advocates of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have opposed the use of torture, including waterboarding, because it is illegal, immoral and antithetical to American values

For further information on the shoddiness of the “But we waterboard our troops” excuse for torturing prisoners, go here and read #3. Did you know our own gov’t has said, “the SERE waterboard experience is so different from the subsequent Agency usage as to make it almost irrelevant.”

So: that lie is dispensed with.


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