The Next Edition of The History of Torture

From The History of Torture by George Riley Scott (London, 1940), we read:

Often in combination with the rack was applied the “torture of water.” This was generally adopted when racking, in itself, proved ineffectual. The victim, while pinioned on the rack, was compelled to swallow water, which was dropped slowly on a piece of silk or fine linen placed in his mouth. This material, under pressure of the water, gradually glided down the throat, producing the sensation experienced by a person who is drowning. A variation of the water torture was to cover the face with a piece of thin linen, upon which the water was poured slowly, running into the mouth and nostrils and hindering or preventing breathing almost to the point of suffocation. In another variation, the nose was stopped up, either by means of plugs placed in the nostrils, or by pressure of the fingers, and water was dropped slowly and continuously into the open mouth. The victim, in his desperate efforts to breathe, often burst a blood-vessel. Generally speaking, the larger the quantity of water forced into the victim the more severe was the torture.

Will the next edition of The History of Torture contain additional water tortures used by the American military and CIA? Impossible you say? Nothing is impossible with this administration. Is there any doubt that the full story of U.S. “interrogation” techniques is yet to be revealed?

Author: Laurence Vance

Laurence Vance holds degrees in history, theology, accounting, and economics. He has written and published twelve books and regularly contributes articles and book reviews to both secular and religious periodicals.