The tactic known as waterboarding involves continuously pouring water over an interrogation subject's nose and mouth to simulate drowning. The technique dates back to the Spanish Inquisition and is banned by international conventions against torture. Questions over alleged U.S. use of waterboarding on terrorism suspects have sharpened the debate over whether harsh interrogation methods should be banned under any circumstances.
Recently, Attorney General-nominee Michael Mukasey refused to answer questions posed by lawmakers on whether he thought waterboarding constitutes torture. He told a Senate judiciary panel that if Congress passed specific legislation outlawing the practice, he would follow the law.
Malcolm Nance is a former U.S. Navy instructor who trained Navy Seals to deal with waterboarding and other harsh interrogation tactics. Nance is the director of Special Readiness Services International, a consulting company that has worked with the Department of Homeland Security and other government agencies. Neil Livingstone, CEO of Executive Action, a crisis management firm, has written extensively on terrorism, intelligence and national security issues.
Nance and Livingston answered your questions on what waterboarding is, the debate over interrogation methods and how U.S. policy should be shaped on the issue in the future.