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Jul 02, 2008

Chris Nearly Drowns


So the challenge was issued last February?

And he barely got wet!

Getting on from the right he should have gotten off to the left, no?

The Orwellian imperative washes out.

Tell me the photographer's name isn't Gasper!  (Hat tip to Leo.)

Love the Abu Ghraib perp walk and the friendlies with ski masks -- not to mention, the forest scene.

A slam dunk for VF.  The 'sphere is eating it up.

Believe Me, It’s Torture (Hitchens expostulates - VF)
And there's
video, too! (more VF)

(image: Gasper Tringale)


For a moment, I thought the picture represented a younger, leaner Tim Russert.

I have a love-hate relationship with Hitchens, but I have to give him props for doing this. I saw the clip of him getting waterboarded and, even though it lasted only ten seconds, at least he did it to experience firsthand a tiny fraction of that much beloved enhanced interrogation technique. I'm sure that I wouldn't last any longer than he did.

Apart from the particular sadistic glee that Hitchens haters will get from this picture, there's the woman on the left who seems eerily comfortable seeing a man being waterboarded, like it's an everyday occurrence to her.

I'll bet he'd showed em if they use Scotch instead of water!

The caring woman (nurse?) to the left undermines the "threat" in the picture. Nonetheless, Hitchens is clearly in great distress.

(tangential note: oh what a demonic Carnival it is when our interrogation policies are "innocent until proven guilty" and our prisoners are not...)

A fantastic NYTimes article yesterday talked about current interrogation techniques being lifted verbatim from a 1950s analysis of Communist Chinese torture methods designed to produce false confessions.

The story promptly vanished, of course.
Too uncomfortable, for one thing.
But more importantly in this age of internet: it had no good visuals.

(If it's not in a photo or video, it never happened.)

And if it IS photographed, it's "obviously Photoshopped".

Stop!!! Please!!! I did it. I'll do it. Whoever did whatever. Whenever. Make it stop! Please!!!

I didn't make it very far into the video. A few beats after the rhythm device kicked in over those tinny speakers I was gone. Thankfully my mouse click took the first time, killed the tab running the video. I shudder to think of the consequences of *that* failure.

"Enjoy the music", he said. Sadistic bastard.

He know at least has an idea. Perhaps next he can try being "buried alive" and be able to answer that question. Yoo-hoo couldn't, wouldn't. Yoo in responding to the questions began to look like early onset Jabba the Hutism.

Posted by: d | Jul 03, 2008 at 04:21 AM

The story is still there....I found it via your link. I printed it out so now it's forever.

As for Hitchens - I don't know what to say. He 'lost' me when he became such a vocal and strident supporter of that goddamned 'war' to annihilate the Iraqis.

Great photo of Hitchens, but I have a hard time telling if this is a photo of him after waterboarding himself or after he got reamed by Robert Scheer at the LA Times Festival of Books at UCLA several years ago for supporting the war in Iraq.

we have to thank chris for replacing "drink-soaked popinjay" with the equally snappy and somewhat fresher "wheezing, paunchy scribbler". googlebombs away!

It's always torture when it happens to whites...

If you haven't seen it, you really ought to watch the full VF video. The theatricality is goofy, but the actual experience is clearly genuine.

BTW, we have to be careful about the argument ad hominem. Hitchens is a jerk, and he's wrong on lots of issues. But that doesn't mean he's wrong on this one.

I find Hitchens strangely fascinating. It's not that I always agree with him... I disagree 50% or maybe more of the time with him. His popularity has turned him a bit saccharin though; I miss the quality and sharpness that used to come with whatever he was advocating. Maybe he needs to suffer a bit, or something.

And here I can see that he does suffer a little. Now that I think of it, in the past interviews I can hear a little wheeze when he speaks... the kind of smokers heavy draw for breath between sentences that just screams the promise of emphysema, if he lives that long at all.

My point being, ten seconds really can seem to be a very long time, depending on the person and their state of mind. I don't think those photos quite capture enough of the moment and the man, however.

Really can't stand Hitchens anymore. He is more of a gadfly now. The boozing and smoking probably cut into his stamina. For whatever its worth, apparently 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed lasted 90 seconds.

The problem here is that it's water. If they'd poured whiskey down the fat bloviator's gullet, he'd have loved it.

Isn't the idea behind torture is that you can't say stop, I've had enough? I imagine if ol' Hitchens had shown real "signs of distress" he'd been given a pass ...

Now he needs to try underwear on the head to determine if this is torture. We can't know one way or the other until he does.

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