Waterboarding video sparks controversy

Nov. 12, 2010 at 3:06 PM
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LONDON, Nov. 12 (UPI) -- People with violent tendencies may use an Internet video showing a London journalist getting waterboarded as a how-to guide, a lawmaker said.

Oliver Harvey, a feature writer for British tabloid The Sun, volunteered to undergo the controversial interrogation technique known as waterboarding. The Sun posted the video of his experience on its Web site.

Tom Watson, a British parliamentarian in the Labor Party, condemned the posting of the video as shameless, London's Guardian newspaper reports.

"Like it or not, we have a gang and bullying culture in parts of Britain," he said. "There are criminals and bullies who will view this video as a 'how-to guide to waterboarding.'"

Harvey, who described the experience in his report as "absolutely horrific," said he went through with the experience after former U.S. President George W. Bush said the practice saved British lives.

Bush defended the use of waterboarding in a series of television interviews touting his memoirs.

"Three people were waterboarded and I believe that decision saved lives," Bush said in an interview with NBC News.

When asked if he approved the waterboarding of al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed, Bush responded, "Damn right!"

The British government dismissed Bush's claim that the simulated drowning technique doesn't constitute torture, saying it fits within "our view" of the definition.

Bush said his legal advisers told him he wasn't violating the law with his orders.

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