Look Who's Trying Out Waterboarding

Young men sample torture technique to settle debate
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 31, 2008 12:38 PM CST

(Newser) – As the debate over waterboarding continues unabated, it has occurred to more than one cocky—or conscientious—young man that anyone can see for himself what it feels like, and whether it constitutes torture. The Wall Street Journal talks to several who've tried it—using friends with no special training. One 26-year-old reports he was shocked at how quickly blind panic overtook him. “It’s almost like the ideal way of torturing someone,” he concludes. “This is torture 2.0.”

A trio of Tennessee teens tried the technique for an online video contest, resulting in a YouTube video, viewed nearly 60,000 times, of the subject thrashing wildly and breaking the board he was strapped to in an effort to get loose. “You can’t help but feel that you’re going to drown,” said the teen. “It’s like all the bad feelings in the world rolled into one.” (Read more waterboarding stories.)