Oh... But killing PoWs is the whole other crime of war. Torture does not need to end in death to be torture.
The point was that we are not doing anything like what the Japanese did. What they did is undeniably torture. What our CIA did is not even close to what the Japanese did such that they really cannot, in my view, be called the same thing. So, to make a sweeping statement that our version of water boarding is torture based off of what the Japanese did is a logical fallacy. Scaring the living daylight out of someone is not torture.
Besides the media is making it sound like this is a regular thing that the CIA does. It has only been used on three prisoners, and that was back in 2002. Furthermore, the session revealed significant information that saved many lives.
The prisoners were not harmed in any way and were water boarded under medical supervision. Do you hear that? We gave terrorists medical supervision. Do you think the terrorists would have provided medical support after their planned attacks that were thwarted because we water boarded these three individuals?
How about we strap you to a board and try it for 10-20 minutes and see if you still don't consider it torture?
According to CIA memos they were only allowed to do two sessions per day lasting no more than two hours each. And in those sessions they were only allowed to water board up to 40 seconds (which they say rarely happened). This could only be done a maximum of six times per two hour session. Meaning that at most the person was water boarded for four minutes out of two hours. Finally, in any 30 day period a prisoner was only allowed to be water boarded on five of those days.
I can hold my breath for forty seconds, and I can certainly do this six times in two hours. Can you?
"They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary saftey deserve neither liberty not saftey." -- Benjamin Franklin, 1759