Waterboarding is 'drowning', 'water torture': expert testimony
Interrogation expert Malcolm Nance, who serves as a counterterrorism and intelligence consultant for the U.S. government and was formerly an instructor at the Navy's Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape school in California, did not mince when detailing the dangers of waterboarding, the highly controversial interrogation technique to which he was previously subjected.
"I didn't feel like I was about to die, but I understood that the process of degrading my respiratory system was taking effect," he said in an interview with ABC News' Brian Ross. "I was drowning."
Nance experienced this simulation during staff instructor training at the Navy school. Because the staff must be exposed to all of the processes any student would ever encounter, the dangerous tactic was required as well.
"I know my first thought was, 'I'm being tortured,'" he said, "'and this is not a simulation.'"
Nance, who has served 17 years with the Navy, pointed out that waterboarding videos circulating in the media don't accurately depict the procedure, which he says involves "a very rapid process where a person is put onto a table and then water is introduced to the point where it overcomes their ability to swallow or spit it away," eventually filling the lungs.
On Wednesday, Nance told a House subcommittee that "waterboarding should be banned." As an instructor, Nance conducted "prisoner of war and terrorist hostage survival programs," according to an AP report.
The following video is from ABCNews.com's Brian Ross Investigates and MSNBC's Countdown, broadcast on November 8 and 9, 2007.