Hitchens Gets Waterboarded

Christopher HitchensChristopher Hitchens is an interesting sort. I first saw him on the panel of Real Time with Bill Maher. He comes off as pompous and arrogant and the immediate impression is to despise him. Initially, I dreaded hearing that he would be on an upcoming show.

I’m not quite sure if it was his political positions or his on-screen personality that I first found irritating.

Early on he was more supportive of this administration and their policies when it dealt with the so-called War on Terror. (Interesting, that they use the fear of terror attacks to keep us terrified and in support of their war on terror – but that is an argument for another time.)

As Bush’s approval shrank, I seemingly found myself more aligned with Hitchens’s opinions – or his with mine.

His 2007 bestseller, God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, really put the atheist’s position into clear terms, though I’m not quite sure with how much of it I agree. One thing is certain, whether you agree with him or not, Hitchens makes you think.

Recently, Hitchens went to a whole new level. For the sake of journalism, he was waterboarded.

Yes, you read correctly. Christopher Hitchens – at 59 years of age – for a piece in Vanity Fair – was waterboarded.

Well, according to Hitchens: The ‘board’ is the instrument, not the method. You are not being boarded. You are being watered.”

Hitchens Waterboarded

He describes, as only Hichens can, the experience, combining the torture with humor.

He summed the experience up well: I apply the Abraham Lincoln test for moral casuistry: ‘If slavery is not wrong, nothing is wrong.’ Well, then, if waterboarding does not constitute torture, then there is no such thing as torture.”

To read the full Christopher Hitchens story in Vanity Fair, click here.

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