At the request of Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, Christopher Hitchens (one of the most consistent cheerleaders of the Iraq war and the Bush regime) undergoes "waterboarding", a technique being used by the Bush regime who claim it is not torture. His conclusion? "Believe me, it's torture."
You may have read by now the official lie about this treatment, which is that it “simulates” the feeling of drowning. This is not the case. You feel that you are drowning because you are drowning—or, rather, being drowned, albeit slowly and under controlled conditions and at the mercy (or otherwise) of those who are applying the pressure. The “board” is the instrument, not the method. You are not being boarded. You are being watered. This was very rapidly brought home to me when, on top of the hood, which still admitted a few flashes of random and worrying strobe light to my vision, three layers of enveloping towel were added. In this pregnant darkness, head downward, I waited for a while until I abruptly felt a slow cascade of water going up my nose. Determined to resist if only for the honor of my navy ancestors who had so often been in peril on the sea, I held my breath for a while and then had to exhale and—as you might expect—inhale in turn. The inhalation brought the damp cloths tight against my nostrils, as if a huge, wet paw had been suddenly and annihilatingly clamped over my face. Unable to determine whether I was breathing in or out, and flooded more with sheer panic than with mere water, I triggered the pre-arranged signal and felt the unbelievable relief of being pulled upright and having the soaking and stifling layers pulled off me. I find I don’t want to tell you how little time I lasted.
This is because I had read that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, invariably referred to as the “mastermind” of the atrocities of September 11, 2001, had impressed his interrogators by holding out for upwards of two minutes before cracking....
And here's the video.
Incidentally, even while cheering the war Hitchens has previously spoken out against torture, for example here. But it seems to me that his language then was deliberately obscure and clouded with rhetorical and irrelevant questions. (I say "deliberately" because he is a master of prose and certainly knows how to make his meaning clear when he chooses to.) This time, he couldn't have put things more plainly.