It took me ten minutes to recover my senses once I tried this. I was
shuddering in a corner, convinced I narrowly escaped killing myself.
Here's what happened:
The water fills the hole in the saran wrap so that there is either
water or vacuum in your mouth. The water pours into your sinuses and
throat. You struggle to expel water periodically by building enough
pressure in your lungs. With the saran wrap though each time I expelled
water, I was able to draw in less air. Finally the lungs can no longer
expel water and you begin to draw it up into your respiratory tract.
It seems that there is a point that is hardwired in us. When we draw
water into our respiratory tract to this point we are no longer in
control. All hell breaks loose. Instinct tells us we are dying.
I have never been more panicked in my whole life. Once your lungs are
empty and collapsed and they start to draw fluid it is simply all over.
You know you are dead and it's too late. Involuntary and total
There is absolutely nothing you can do about it. It would be like
telling you not to blink while I stuck a hot needle in your eye.
At the time my lungs emptied and I began to draw water, I would have
sold my children to escape. There was no choice, or chance, and
willpower was not involved.
I never felt anything like it, and this was self-inflicted with a
watering can, where I was in total control and never in any danger.
And I understood.
Waterboarding gets you to the point where you draw water up your
respiratory tract triggering the drowning reflex. Once that happens,
it's all over. No question.
Some may go easy without a rag, some may need a rag, some may need
Once you are there it's all over.
I didn't allow anybody else to try it on me. Inconceivable. I know I
only got the barest taste of what it's about since I was in control,
and not restrained and controlling the flow of water.
But there's no chance. No chance at all.
So, is it torture?
I'll put it this way. If I had the choice of being waterboarded by a
third party or having my fingers smashed one at a time by a
sledgehammer, I'd take the fingers, no question.
It's horrible, terrible, inhuman torture. I can hardly imagine worse.
I'd prefer permanent damage and disability to experiencing it again.
I'd give up anything, say anything, do anything.
The Spanish Inquisition knew this. It was one of their favorite
It's torture. No question. Terrible terrible torture. To experience it
and understand it and then do it to another human being is to leave the
realm of sanity and humanity forever. No question in my mind.