A rightwing radio host set out to prove that waterboarding isn’t torture. Things didn’t exactly go accordingly to plan:

And so it went Friday morning when WLS radio host Erich “Mancow” Muller decided to subject himself to the controversial practice of waterboarding live on his show.

Mancow decided to tackle the divisive issue head on — actually it was head down, while restrained and reclining.

“I want to find out if it’s torture,” Mancow told his listeners Friday morning, adding that he hoped his on-air test would help prove that waterboarding did not, in fact, constitute torture

It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,”Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child. “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”

“I wanted to prove it wasn’t torture,” Mancow said. “They cut off our heads, we put water on their face…I got voted to do this but I really thought ‘I’m going to laugh this off.’ “

Last year, Vanity Fair writer Christopher Hitchens endured the same experiment — and came to a similar conclusion. The conservative writer said he found the treatment terrifying, and was haunted by it for months afterward. “Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture,” Hitchens concluded in the article.

This from a guy who was described as a younger version of Rush Limbaugh.

Here’s the video:

Now if only Sean Hannity would live up to his word

Update: John Cole reacts:

1.) I’m not sure why we have to keep waterboarding wingnut radio hosts to prove that torture is in fact torture, but this is just starting to get silly. How many times have we now waterboarded someone like this to prove what we have known all along- that waterboarding is torture.

2.) One of the things that supposedly separates humans from other animals is that we are able to learn from the experiences of other people. Apparently this ability is not available to right-wing radio hosts.

3.) Not to diminish Mancow’s experience, but if he thought that was torture, think what the real deal must be like. You are snatched out of nowhere, flown across the world, kept awake for days on end in a freezing room with little food, woken every time you fall asleep on your metal bed, thrown against the wall with that lovely procedure known as collaring, slapped, had dogs threatening you, yelled at and beaten, and so on and so forth. That goes on for a couple weeks to soften you up, then you are dragged by multiple burly men and waterboarded repeatedly. You have no dead man’s switch like Hitchens did, you have no “safe” word to stop the process, there are no cameras and friends there to make sure you are alright. These people have been abusing you non-stop for days or weeks, for all you know this is when they finally kill you.

Of course it is torture. I’m sick and tired of having this stupid damned debate.

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  1. Schu says:

    Maybe we will have to water board everyone who denies that this is torture, but then we would be as bad as Cheney. These people can not believe that they were lied to, and that situational ethics are not the ethics of the nation.

  2. Tod says:

    "Of course it is torture. I’m sick and tired of having this stupid damned debate." Well then shut the hell up. If you don't want to talk about this subject, then click the red x at the upper right corner of the box. No one is forcing you to say anything here, are they?
    Or, as I suspect, you want to sound as though you are an authority figure who knows what you are talking about, and would like us to believe that you are a champion against whatever. Go get a life…

    • Metavirus says:

      @tod hey, sounds perfect to me. convince your pals to stop denying that waterboarding is torture and prosecute the people who authorized it and i'll shut right up. not another peep. you're on.

  3. tod says:

    'Maybe we will have to water board everyone who denies that this is torture, but then we would be as bad as Cheney. '

    or even worse, you might be as bad as Obama. He told people flat out lies during his campaign, then switched gears as soon as he was in office. In other words, Obama is no better than any other politician. He just was able to fool those like you…

    • Metavirus says:

      oh noes! obama told LIES during his campaign?? like about how saddam had WMDs? or how the US didn't torture? or the circumstances surrounding the response to hurricane katrina? or how the grunts at abu ghraib were just a few bad apples? or how we didn't politicize the justice department? string that communist socialist fascist uppity negro up!!!

    • Schu says:

      Still can not believe you lost the election? Since politics is the art of compromise all politicians lie. The problem comes with how many lies, and how many times. Like water boarding is not torture, even though we prosecuted water boarders at the end of WWII. Or where is the Iraqi’s WMD’s? Or how many Iraq’s were flying the planes on 9/11? Who deregulated the banking industry until we had Bush’s ecumenical melt down?

  4. Sharon Mead says:

    So what if it is torture. These people are willing to die to kill us. Any way we can find out information that is to our advantage and to save lives, why not? I would imagine if they were holding your spouse or your child or parents…..you would be ALL for waterboarding if it would get your loved one back ALIVE. And you know it. You think you would just sit there and insist everyone be polite to them??? Where are your people's common sense? I think the whole problem lies in you having NO concept how a terrorist thinks and acts.

    • Metavirus says:

      the problem with torture is that (a) its illegal and (b) it doesn't work.

      where does it stop for you?

      what if the interrogator told you that the suspect would give up the information if you raped his mother in front of him? why not do it?

      what if he said that the suspect would spill the beans if you were to sodomize the suspect in front of his father?

      i guess you'd think that was all ok, right?

    • CalSailor says:


      The problem is: If you had someone being held captured, you'd get nowhere using waterboarded. First of all, waterboarding doesn't work instantaneously. Otherwise why did we have to waterboard one guy more than 100 times IN A MONTH. That works out to six times/day. How many days do you want to try torturing them before you get information? Oh, and what happens if your torture accidently goes too far and the guy dies? How do you know someone being waterboarded won't have a heart attack? It causes panic, and the heart races. Some guy in his 50s is a genuine threat to have a heart attack. And then, your family member will DIE.

      Pr Chris

    • CalSailor says:

      AND, having gotten "information" how do you know it is true? As a former intell officer, I can tell you that "disinformation" (ie, deliberately wrong info) is worse than NO information. Disinformation requires that you waste time, assets and money trying to track down the REAL truth. And after running all over, how do you know that what you have THIS time is true?

      John McCain talked about the disinformation he gave as a prisoner of the North Vietnamese. Do you think only JSM is smart enough to do this? These people we have captured have been prepared to withstand torture. It just makes them angrier, more recalcitrant, and more defiant. It DOES NOT WORK. The producers of 24 ought to be sued by anyone who has been tortured, for planting lies. When Jack goes and solves all these issues in 24 hours…it is FICTION. IT DOESN'T work.

      But finally, the one who tortures is ultimately dehumanized by what he has put another person through. It eats at the torturer's soul…and many torturers have been haunted by what they have done. It makes us no better than they are.

      Pr Chris

      • Metavirus says:

        you make a great point about the show 24. i'm usually not much of a conspiracy theorist but i've often wondered if there were backchannel discussions between the Bush administration and the producers to sex up the torture angle. what happened, it had the desired effect. it turned the supposedly "conservative" party into the party of torture

        p.s. thanks for all the great commentary. much appreciated.

  5. donald says:

    This is Not a topic anyone like to hear nor discuss in public, No one like to discuss animal slaughter in public but most of us cunsume the product of slaughter house. We as a society have modernize our living in such that we named our food like Pork not Pig, beef not cow. Whoever bring this subject in the open public is not looking to improve but only political head line.

    • Metavirus says:

      what, like discussing murder or rape or child molestation "in public"? you know, the really horrible things that people do to one another that are illegal and require prosecution…? maybe this is a key to the wingnut mind — they're actually cowards who are afraid to face the darkness.

  6. Gherald says:

    Mancow had better watch that proximity to reality or he is going to be in danger of losing his wingnut credentials

    • Metavirus says:

      unfortunately, denying reality is the sine qua non of being an ardent republican right now. some people awoke from their long sleep last year — some are still unconscious. hopefully incidents like this will help some of the sleepers awaken

  7. abdu says:

    i like this type of torture….kill all sleazball terrorists

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