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Waterboarding is inhumane

Norm Harley says that he does not condone the apparent ‘torture administered to this young Canadian.

Norm Harley says that he does not condone the apparent ‘torture administered to this young Canadian.’ I find this interesting, but at least he admits that Omar Khadr is a Canadian citizen and I argue that he is entitled to the protection of our government.

Harley goes on to say that he supports the harshest interrogation of terrorists including waterboarding and sleep deprivation. Both sleep deprivation and waterboarding have been deemed to be torture by the U.S. Justice Department and President Barack Obama demanded that the practice cease as soon as he took office. Even the Republican presidential candidate John McCain recently said, “techniques such as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and stress positioning cause serious pain and suffering and this is not an acceptable form of interrogation.” Khadr was subjected to all three of these types of torture and much more.

Waterboarding is not all fun and games. You are strapped to a gurney and tilted back 15 degrees; a wet cloth is placed over your mouth and nose and cold water is poured over your face. The water fills the nose, the sinuses, larynx and trachea. If the detainee tries to move a specialist holds his head steady and cups his hands around the nose and mouth so that the detainee can only inhale water. The CIA specialists brought waterboarding to a fine technique until it was banned as torture and a violation of the Geneva Convention. Apologist reporters who have argued, as Harley does, that this is not torture and were challenged to submit to waterboarding all screamed to be let go after just a few seconds. There was an immediate conversion.

Let’s bring Khadr back to Canada and charge him with consorting with the enemy and see what the courts do. After all, he was only 14 when he joined the Taliban; 15 when he was severely injured with heavy rifle and mortar fire so injurious that one witness said he could have placed a coke bottle in the exit wound. Having been tortured and served eight years in solitary confinement, I would expect that the court would be anxious to either give him time served or dismiss the charges because of lack of evidence, which is what the U.S military court did when he was first charged.

Bob Russell, St. Albert