Last Friday ABC News Reported that Daniel Levin, assistant Attorney General and author of the December 30, 2004 "torture memoranda" visited a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure himself. Discussions of waterboarding are filled with thirdhand accounts and euphemistic language. We applaud Daniel Levin's curiosity, courage, and willingness to improve his understanding with direct experience in a safe, controlled environment. After resolving legal and safety issues we hope to provide this service to the general public.
(For more see Harpers.org The Justice Department’s Culture of Torture, Scott Horton, November 6, 2007.)
A senior Justice Department official, charged with reworking the administration’s legal position on torture in 2004 became so concerned about the controversial interrogation technique of waterboarding that he decided to experience it firsthand, sources told ABC News. Daniel Levin, then acting assistant attorney general, went to a military base near Washington and underwent the procedure to inform his analysis of different interrogation techniques. After the experience, Levin told White House officials that even though he knew he wouldn’t die, he found the experience terrifying and thought that it clearly simulated drowning. Levin, who refused to comment for this story, concluded waterboarding could be illegal torture unless performed in a highly limited way and with close supervision.