Saturday, February 23, 2008

Torture in 60s South Shows Error of Waterboarding

Tom Gardner:
When I read about the increasing acceptance of waterboarding as a form of torture, I vividly recall how in 1968 members of the Memphis Police Department believed I could tell them information about civil rights insurgents arriving to create havoc. Forty years later I still hide my serrated scars.

I was 14 years old and forgot I was a black boy living in racist America and heading for the devil's den of discrimination.
Who were these people I supposedly knew who were ready to disrupt the city's infrastructure? My wild eyes could only register pain as the large men kicked, punched and beat me with nightsticks because I was unable to speak coherently between my sobs of sorrow and moans for my mother.
Like relentless Stalinists, the policemen gave me a few hard, calculated kicks with steel-toed boots in my back and ribs for making them exhausted from their beating. I promised them the names of protesters, when they were coming, and what they were driving. I could hardly speak from my busted lips, chipped teeth and broken jaw, but I forced words from my mouth that sounded like what they wanted as long as they stopped their feverish beating to decipher what my cracking voice was revealing.

But I didn’t know anyone, and I certainly didn’t know about a conspiracy to take over Memphis...

Torture, not only cruel and immoral, but ineffective for intelligence gathering. The rest of the article at Common Dreams. And find out about the history of waterboarding at the torture museum: barbarism then and now.


libhom said...

Claims that waterboarding is not torture are not only dishonest, they are disturbing.

Billy said...

And now Mukasey won't give his opinion on this horrific form of torture. It's shameful. Interesting blog.

Red Jenny said...

Agreed. Disturbing and shameful.