This in no way was a radio stunt to try and get ratings as some are posting online (I’m not that clever). This was an experiment of human behavior and how my mind would handle a situation as severe as water boarding. I was really curious if I could withstand the punishment and wanted to know if it was as extreme (painful) as some government officials had said. We talked a lot about Zero Dark Thirty including the torture scenes before and after watching the film but felt that I couldn’t properly discuss the topic without knowing if water boarding was actually torture…
As the water flows over the rag it becomes tight against your face restricting breathing even more. Your lungs are elevated above your head to prevent the subject from actually drowning (you can’t get info from a dead guy). This causes the water to rush through your sinuses and it builds unbearable pressure behind your eyes and throughout the nasal cavity. I could feel my throat restrict and my body automatically started shallow breathing. I was gasping for air which you can’t get much of through the towel. You are unable to hold your breath and just bare through the pain. Your body believes it’s drowning. I knew I wasn’t but couldn’t control the fight or flight response my body was taking. It truly felt like I was drowning. This all happens very quickly. I lasted 13.9 seconds and that was a struggle. I would NEVER do it again. I can honestly say I didn’t think it was going to be that disturbing, painful, or difficult to withstand.
Water boarding is brutal even in a the most controlled setting like we had. I was not strapped to a bench or held down against my will. I hadn’t been kept up for a long period of time or been through any other interrogation techniques and it still royally SUCKED! The experience has left me torn on the decision to use such tactics. On one hand I can see how effective it would be. There’s no way anyone could withstand that over a period of time and not give up some kind of information. With that being said, water boarding would/could totally lead to a lot of misinformation. I would’ve told them my mom was Bin Laden to get them to stop water boarding me.
The following morning I had a lingering headache and it felt like some water was still in my sinuses. This was NOT fun and I will never attempt it again but I can’t say I regret it.