Leave the waterboard aside for one moment. What is the effect on a human being of being subjected to the the Bush-Cheney "enhanced interrogation" program? We have two clear data points, and one is an American citizen. Jose Padilla was detained on American soil and put in a US brig and tortured for years. He was subjected to indefinite solitary detention, total sensory deprivation, sleep deprivation, and, according to his lawyers "hooding, stress positions, assaults, threats of imminent execution and the administration of 'truth serums.'" You want to know what a broken human being looks like after that? Here you go:
One of Mr. Padilla’s lawyers, Orlando do Campo, said that Mr. Padilla was a “completely docile” prisoner. “There was not one disciplinary problem with Jose ever, not one citation, not one act of disobedience,” said Mr. do Campo, who is a lawyer at the Miami federal public defender’s office. In his affidavit, Mr. Patel said, “I was told by members of the brig staff that Mr. Padilla’s temperament was so docile and inactive that his behavior was like that of a piece of furniture.’ ...
Dr. Angela Hegarty, director of forensic psychiatry at the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center in Queens, N.Y., who examined Mr. Padilla for a total of 22 hours in June and September, said in an affidavit filed Friday that he “lacks the capacity to assist in his own defense.”
“It is my opinion that as the result of his experiences during his detention and interrogation, Mr. Padilla does not appreciate the nature and consequences of the proceedings against him, is unable to render assistance to counsel, and has impairments in reasoning as the result of a mental illness, i.e., post-traumatic stress disorder, complicated by the neuropsychiatric effects of prolonged isolation,” Dr. Hegarty said in an affidavit for the defense.
Here is an account of one detainee at Gitmo - not abu Ghraib, Gitmo:
Last December, documents obtained by the A.C.L.U. also cited an F.B.I. agent at Guantánamo Bay who observed that ''on a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food or water. Most times they had urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18 to 24 hours or more.'' In one case, he added, ''the detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his own hair out throughout the night.''
Bush and Cheney made all this possible.