Several years ago I visited the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh and had a stark insight into the minds of people like James Mitchell.
The museum was a former prison and execution centre for the Khmer Rouge and went under the name S-21. It is believed that around 20,000 prisoners were killed there, many of whom were tortured before what I can only believe was the sweet relief of death. In paintings now hanging on the walls some of the most vile acts of torture and punishment are recorded.
In one room I came upon sketches of torture techniques and devices by people who survived. I found myself focussing on one picture, not sure what I was seeing. Slowly it dawned upon me that it was a depiction of water boarding. Water boarding... In a prison where guards threw babies in the air and bayoneted them in front of parents. In a prison where the screams of the tortured was torture in itself. This. This was one of the tortures of choice. This was used by the Khmer Rouge.
And at that moment I realised how deluded you have to be to think that water boarding is basically harmless. Just another interrogation technique.
People like Mitchell can dodge all they like. They are vile.