Au contraire

Joseph Farah attempts to redefine torture:

My definition of torture is simple: It involves physical or mental abuse that leaves lasting scars. Cutting off fingers, toes, limbs – that would be torture. Forcing prisoners to play Russian roulette – that would be torture. Sticking hot pokers in the eyes of prisoners – that would be torture.

But a few seconds of dripping water on a prisoner’s face? That’s not torture to me.

By Farah’s definition, the Spanish Inquisition never tortured anyone either, even though they had very strict and specific guidelines about what sort of torture and how much of it was permissible. Not only were the inquisitors not permitted to shed blood, cut anything off or do anything that left scars, but one of the three primary forms of torture they used was an early form of water-boarding.

I happened to dig into this subject while writing TIA, because the reliably incompetent Sam Harris decries the toca of the Spanish Inquisition in his first book while publicly defending the modern toca of the Bush administration in an article entitled “In Defense of Torture”.

Regardless of how Mr. Farah attempts to redefine the term “torture” in order to defend certain forms of it, waterboarding has been considered torture by all of Christendom for more than 500 years.