Waterboarding is the New Spanking


U.S. soldier Joshua Tabor waterboarded his own 4-year-old daughter because she couldn’t recite the alphabet.

Waterboarding, you might remember, was one of the staple techniques of the Bush/Cheney “enhanced interrogation” methods also known as torture.  It involves the simulated drowning of a victim by elevating one’s legs and then pouring water over her rag-covered face, stopping just short of drowning.  It had previously been reserved for totalitarian regimes like the Khmer Rouge, but then became part of America’s way of treating both foreign and domestic terror suspects, and now apparently, has been co-opted by one man as a method of reprimanding toddlers.

This is what happens when torture becomes legalized and mainstream.  It’s not even called torture by the mainstream media and is defended and approved by federal appellate court Judge Jay Bybee and former Department of Justice official and current law professor John Yoo, who believes that it’s in the president’s powers to crush the testicles of an innocent child if he believes that the child’s father could provide sensitive information.

The brave men and women who serve our country are bound by their duty to follow orders.  They didn’t torture Khalid Sheikh Mohammad because they just came up with it on their own; they waterboarded him 183 times because they were ordered to do so by the highest powers of government.  And those very people are getting away with it completely scot-free. (Notice how in Newsweek they only write the word “torture” with quotes around it, as if it’s not really torture at all.)

And while these men who turned America into a nation that tortures its own citizens (Notice how Time magazine uses the phrase “equivalent to torture” instead of just saying “torture,” suggesting that even though these techniques might be equivalent to torture they might not actually be torture necessarily.) manage to ascend in their legal professions with nary a charge against them, GI Joshua Tabor gets arrested for assault.

Now, Tabor should be arrested for assault.  It’s unconscionable to think of a father torturing his own daughter for any transgression, let alone something as small as not having memorized her ABCs.  He should be charged for this crime and, if found guilty, given a lengthy prison sentence.  I just don’t understand how, when in the context of a man and his daughter, this torture technique is immediately greeted with appalling and repulsive reactions and formal charges, yet when it’s done 183 times to terror suspect, it’s legal, promoted, and encouraged.

Torture is torture.  It should always, always be illegal and those who condone and conduct it must be held accountable in a court of law.

(H/T Memeorandum)



  1. I guess we can ask, did the military let this “mental deficient” into their ranks or did they make this normal guy in this “mental deficient”. Even Ronald Reagan said that water boarding was torture, but I guess Cheney and his gay daughter are the brain trust on this lie that has been perpetuated onto the American people and signed off by the GOP.

    • Milton – Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

      I think this soldier’s lack of compassion and rationality preceded his time in the military; however, it makes you wonder if he would have chosen a version of waterboarding to punish his daughter were it not implemented as a common and helpful practice by the executive branch of government. That anyone thinks waterboarding can produce any positive results of any kind is deluded. And, like you said, perpetuated by Cheney and his supporters like Theissen and Krauthammer.

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