I have tried to show them that it was different. You do a nice job of spelling out the differences. Thanks.For those that have claimed they were water boarded, perhaps they weren't aware that it was different?
The Secret Justice Department Memo
Looking at the previously secret August 1, 2002 Justice Department Memo issued only a month before the briefing, you can see it deals with whether waterboarding Abu Zubaydah would amount to torture. The memo was signed by Jay Bybee, the head of the Office of Legal Counsel (OLC), but apparently written by Berkeley law professor John Yoo. The memo says that it is based on the facts that the CIA's acting general counsel John Rizzo gave them.
The 18-page memo stresses three facts:
Thousands of US Troops (Navy Seals, Special Operations Forces) have gone through Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape Training (SERE), which includes waterboarding
Hardly any reports had been received of the trainees suffering subsequent ill effects
Waterboarding is essentially painless and lasts only "20 to 40 seconds"
The memo leaves out the following facts:
The SERE program permitted a trainee to be waterboarded only once or twice. (As stated above, the CIA waterboarded Zubaydah 83 times)
The SERE program was based on interrogation techniques used by North Korea and Communist China during the Korean War
The CIA used a harsher waterboarding method than did SERE, applying, according to the CIA Inspector General, "large volumes of water to a cloth that covered the detainee's mouth and nose" rather than the "small amount of water [applied] to the cloth in a controlled manner" for SERE trainees
More important than anything else, the American SERE trainees had volunteered and had to know that they were not going to be killed or seriously harmed. Individuals who are imprisoned have good reason to believe that the detaining authority (the CIA) might kill them, particularly after, among other things: Being hooded, placed in the equivalent of dog crates, repeatedly slammed against "flexible" walls, deprived of sleep while shackled in uncomfortable positions for up to a week at a time, and placed on a liquid diet