This just in:
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Attorney General Michael Mukasey told the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that it would be inappropriate to discuss whether the "waterboarding" interrogation method amounts to torture. During his first testimony since his November confirmation, Mukasey testified that it wouldn't "be appropriate for me to pass definitive judgment on the technique's legality."
Sen. Edward Kennedy pointed out that -- because Mukasey has acknowledged his opposition to torture -- his refusal to pass judgment on waterboarding is "like saying you're opposed to stealing but not quite sure that bank robbery qualifies."
At one point the Massachusetts Democrat posed a blunt question to Mukasey: "Would waterboarding be torture if it was done to you?"
The attorney general responded, "I would feel that it was."
I remember reading an article once written by a journalist who wanted to see what waterboarding was like. It was to be performed on him in a safe environment, surrounded by people, and he knew he wasn't actually being drowned. I think he had a "safe word" too. Anyway, he barely lasted a minute before panicking, believing that he was drowning.
From what I have read, waterboarding isn't a "simulated drowning" at all— the cloth covering your mouth doesn't keep the water from running down your throat, of course, so it would depend how long the technique was used. Sounds like torture to me.
EDIT: I just got back from the doctor's office where they tested me for the flu and strep throat. It included throat and nose swabs. I suggest that, to avoid this awkward questioning by Congress in the future, the CIA switch over to nose-swabbing as a means of getting information.