Too Much Fun

by digby

I just saw Jeanne Moos do one of her cute little feature stories on ... waterboarding. Lots of adorable stories of people trying it and timing themselves and laughing about it afterwards. Funny, funny stuff. I only wish they'd put her in a stress position for 48 hours naked so we could see how hilarious that is too.

At the end she did warn people that they could actually kill themselves if they do this wrong, so when you kids are having your kicks trying to waterboard each other keep that in mind.

I think the debate is over, folks. Every time they normalize state sanctioned sadism, from tasering to waterboarding, we are one step closer to fully accepting a police state. That's how they do it. It never happens over night. It happens one taboo at a time.

We are a torture culture, immoral, vulgar and profane. We actually think it's fun. If college boys and reporters can laugh about it, how bad can it be? Thanks Dick and George.

Update: Here's the transcript

JEANNE MOOS, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's one thing to see an animation of water boarding and another to see the real thing. Sounds like the Bush administration's nominee for attorney general hasn't seen a demo.

MICHAEL MUKASEY, ATTORNEY GENERAL NOMINEE: I don't know what's involved in the technique, if water boarding is torture, torture is not constitutional.

MOOS: It depends what the definition of water boarding is, but this reporter didn't define it, he demonstrated it, on himself.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What do you have to say? What do you have to say?

MOOS: Kaj Larsen is a reporter for Current TV, Al Gore's outfit. He used to be special ops and once had to undergo water boarding as part of military training, but this time he paid other professional interrogators.

KAJ LARSEN, REPORTER: I weaseled him down to $800.

MOOS: To waterboard him so folks could decide if it amounts to torture.

LARSEN: It start to create the sensation of drowning.

MOOS: They stuffed a rag into Larsen's mouth. They began pouring and then the shaking began.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I think he's getting ready to say something.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: You can end this now, just talk.

MOOS: Larsen's producer actually ended it telling the interrogators to stop after 24 minutes. Normally a person breaks after two or three.


LARSEN: Oh, that sucked.[laughing]

MOOS: Current TV says Larsen was the first to do a serious demonstration of water boarding over a year ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: The only place he can breathe is through his nose and we're going to fill that with water.

MOOS: FOX News reporter, Steve Harrigan, also water boarded himself. They placed cellophane over his mouth and poured water in his nose.

Anti-war demonstrators have taken the demonstrating water boarding and posting their protests on You Tube. Even a few amateurs have tried it at home, timing themselves to see how long they can last. [more laughter]


MOOS: Not smart. Do it wrong and experts say water boarding can kill you. And then there's this instructional water boarding tape supposedly leaked from the military.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Step two, blindfold your subject.

MOOS: Turns it's a parody. They recommend splashing water generously.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: This will overall aid in the overall drowning look and feel.

MOOS: For the good old days when water boarding meant riding a board on water.

Now, that's constitutional, Mr. Attorney general nominee. Jeanne Moos, CNN, New York.


NGUYEN: The length that some people go to.

HOLMES: And with that, CNN NEWSROOM continues.

WHITFIELD: I loved watching your expressions. You both were like, what?

NGUYEN: Exactly.

WHITFIELD: In fact, that reminds me, we have a segment coming up later on in this hour, stories that kind of evoke that response. Kind of what, what were they thinking? We've got that coming up. You'll have to stay tuned for that.

But it has nothing to do with water boarding. Instead it has something to do with breast milk.

NGUYEN: Oh, lovely.

WHITFIELD: I know, well, you'll have to watch. You guys have a great day.