Wilson Gray hwgray at GMAIL.COM
Wed Nov 16 21:36:52 UTC 2005

Defined in this week's Newsweek as "drippinng water onto a wet cloth over
the suspect's face." Waterboarding is featured in the 1961 British movie, _A
Circle of Deception_. In this movie, the victim is tied with ropes to a 2x8
board approximately ten feet long. The torturer then dips him beneath the
surface of a tub filled with ice water and ice blocks until he begins to
drown. At this point, he's see-sawed out of the water, given a chance to
catch his breath, and asked to talk.

In this movie, the term, "waterboarding," is clearly used literally. I
wonder how it became transferred to what used to be known as a version of
the "water torture"? Another version is to stuff the victim's mouth with
cloth and pour water into it. A third method, known as the "Chinese
water torture" way back when, was to tie a person up and let water slowly
drip onto the crown of his head or to tie a person down and let water slowly
drip onto his forehead. I first heard of the Chinese water torture when I
was in elementary school and I haven't heard much about it since. Hence, I
consider to be a myth. OTOH, so-called "Japanese hand cuffs" were real, to
the extent that I've seen them with my own eyes. However, I've never seen
anything linking them definitively, if at all, to Japan.

BTW, the movie was quite popular among enlisted men because it contained the
line, "Nobody would do that to his own men!" This referred to the fact that
the victim of the torture - waterboarding was just one of the tortures that
he was subjected to - had been tricked into it by his superior officers.
-Wilson Gray

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