The commonest form of torture was known as the "water cure," and it was so common that, on Bohol, toward the end of the war, people joked about getting it -- and then got it. It became, as its nickname suggests, a kind of liquid panacea, a cure for whatever you couldn't kill -- a cure for disloyalty, a cure for native "insolence," a cure for the insurrection -- that the army doled out like the shots for the small pox it also dispensed. Ostensibly, the "water cure" was used to elicit information. But the information it obtained was always suspect. And people died from it.
Testifying before Congress in 1903, Lt. Grover Flint gave a sanitized but still vivid account of the way that it worked:
A man is thrown down on his back and three or four men sit or stand on his arms and legs and hold him down; ...a carbine barrel or a stick as big as a belaying pin... is simply thrust into his jaws and his jaws are thrust back, and, if possible, a wooden log or stone is put under his head or neck, so he can be held more firmly. In the case of very old men I have seen their teeth fall out, -- and I mean when it was done a little roughly. He is simply held down and then water is poured onto his face down his throat and nose from a jar; and that is kept up until the man gives some sign or becomes unconscious. And then... he is simply... rolled aside rudely, so that water is expelled. A man suffers tremendously, there is no doubt about it. [S. Doc. 331, 57 Cong., 1 Sess. (1903), pp. 1767-1768]
And it's frightening to read "Americans" (in reality FREEpers) support the practice. Or US Senator Kit Bond equate torture by drowning with swimming.
Hey Kit, would you have been happy if your son Sam had, "learned" to swim this way at Quantico? Or would it be okay if insurgents in Iraq used waterboarding on your son in Iraq? Because I don't think so, but I guess you would be fine with the insurgent freestyle...