By Ann Coulter
May 6, 2009
The media wail about "torture," but are noticeably short on facts.
Liberals try to disguise the utter wussification of our interrogation techniques by constantly prattling on about "the banality of evil."
Um, no. In this case, it's actually the banality of the banal.
Start with the fact that the average Gitmo detainee has gained 20 pounds in captivity. There's even a medical term for it now: "the Gitmo gut." Some prisoners have been heard whispering, "If you think Allah is great, you should try these dinner rolls."
In terms of "torture," there was "the attention grasp," which you have seen in every department store you have ever been where a mother was trying to get her misbehaving child's attention. If "the attention grasp" doesn't work, the interrogators issue a stern warning: "Don't make me pull this car over."
Farther up the parade of horribles was "walling," which I will not describe except to say Elliot Spitzer paid extra for it.
And for the most hardened terrorists, CIA interrogators had "the caterpillar." Evidently, the terrorists have gotten so fat on the food at Guantanamo, now they can't even outrun a caterpillar.
Contrary to MSNBC hosts who are afraid of bugs, water and their own shadows, waterboarding was most definitely not a "war crime" for which the Japanese were prosecuted after World War II -- no matter how many times Mrs. Jonathan Turley, professor of cooking at George Washington University, says so.
All MSNBC hosts and guests were apparently reading "Little Women" rather than military books as children and therefore can be easily fooled about Japanese war crimes. (MSNBC: The Official Drama Queen Network of the 2012 Olympics.)
Given what the Japanese did to prisoners, waterboarding would be a reward for good behavior.
It might be: waterboarding PLUS amputating the prisoner's healthy arm, or waterboarding PLUS killing the prisoner. But waterboarding on the order of what we did at Guantanamo would be a reward in a Japanese POW camp.
To claim that the Japanese -- architects of the Bataan Death March -- were prosecuted for "waterboarding" would be like saying Ted Bundy was executed for engaging in sexual harassment.
What the Japanese did to their POWs made even the Nazis blanch. The Japanese routinely beheaded and bayoneted prisoners; forced prisoners to dig their own graves and then buried them alive; amputated prisoners' healthy arms and legs, one by one, for sport; force-fed prisoners dry rice and then filled their stomachs with water until their bowels exploded; and injected them with chemical weapons in order to observe, time and record their death throes before dumping them in mass graves.
While only 4 percent of British and American troops captured by German or Italian forces died in captivity, 27 percent of British and American POWs captured by the Japanese died in captivity. Japanese war crimes were so atrocious that even rape was treated as only a secondary war crime in the Tokyo trial, similar to what happens during an R. Kelly trial.
The Japanese "water cure" was to "waterboarding" as practiced at Guantanamo what rape at knifepoint is to calling your secretary "honey."
The Japanese version of "waterboarding" was to fill the prisoner's stomach with water until his stomach was distended -- and then pound on his stomach, causing the prisoner to vomit.
Or they would jam a stick into the prisoner's nose so he could breathe only through his mouth and then pour water in his mouth so he would choke to death.
Or they would "waterboard" the prisoner with saltwater, which would kill him.
Meanwhile, the alleged "torture" under the Bush administration consists of things like:
-- "failing to respect a Serbian national holiday"; or
-- "forgetting to wear plastic gloves while handling a Quran."
Finding out who started the tall tale about "waterboarding" being treated as a war crime after World War II would take the talents of a forensic historian, someone like Christina Hoff Sommers.
After years of hearing the feminist "fact" that emergency room admissions for women beaten by their husbands soared by 40 percent on Super Bowl Sundays, Sommers traced it back to an unsubstantiated rumination erupting from a feminist rap session.
But the lunatic claim was passed around with increasing credibility until it ended up being cited as hard fact in The New York Times, The Boston Globe and on "Good Morning America."
One of the earliest entries in the "waterboarding as war crimes" myth must be this October 2006 article in The Washington Post, citing a case raised by Sen. Teddy Kennedy -- and heaven knows Kennedy understands the horrors of a near-drowning:
"Twenty-one years earlier, in 1947, the United States charged a Japanese officer, Yukio Asano, with war crimes for carrying out another form of waterboarding on a U.S. civilian. The subject was strapped on a stretcher that was tilted so that his feet were in the air and head near the floor, and small amounts of water were poured over his face, leaving him gasping for air until he agreed to talk."
Even if that description of what Asano did were true -- and it isn't -- the only relevant word in the entire paragraph is "civilian."
Any mistreatment of a civilian is a war crime. So every other part of that paragraph is utterly irrelevant to the treatment of prisoners of war, much less non-uniformed enemy combatants at Guantanamo, who could have been shot on sight under the laws of war.
What Americans need to understand is that under liberals' own "laws of war," they will invent apocryphal incidents from history in order to give aid and comfort to America's enemies and to undermine those who kept us safe for the past eight years.