An article published in the Washington Post in 2006 has been
brought to light to expound on legal circumstances surrounding waterboarding. The piece, entitled “Waterboarding
Historically Controversial,” highlights several conflicting examples of
Waterboarding was initially cited as a war crime during World War II, when Japanese officer Yukio Asano was tried for using the interrogation technique against a U.S. civilian. Asano was sentenced to 15 years of hard labor as punishment for his crimes.
In 1963, 16 years after Asano’s conviction, the CIA kept now-declassified manuals outlining a similar technique. After 9/11, CIA interrogators were once again given permission to use waterboarding torture techniques against “higher-level Al-Queda operatives,” despite the fact that even presidential hopefuls like John McCain have recognized waterboarding as being “no different than holding a pistol to [a person’s] head and firing a blank” . Again, I’ll cite the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit (among other things) “mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture.”
While the debate here seems solely centered around whether or not waterboarding is torture (as the U.S. government has continuously said that it does not condone torture and long ago signed on to each of the Geneva Conventions), it is difficult to say that something that puts people in immediate and aggressive fear of their lives is anything but that.
 "Waterboarding - The 'Un-Torture.'" Matthew Good (www.matthewgood.org).
by Kate Beall