I don’t quite understand this wingnut trend to “volunteer” to be waterboarded:

Ashcroft caused an uproar when he declared Guantanamo Bay was a “good place” for detainees. In addition, he defended the torture tactic of waterboarding:

Ashcroft also responded to questions from the audience. The first question came from a woman who asked if Ashcroft would be willing to be subjected to waterboarding.

“The things that I can survive, if it were necessary to do them to me, I would do,” he said.

Tough guy he-man terror warrior Glenn Reynolds also recently said he’d be “happy” to be waterboarded and suggested Michael Mukasey do the same.

Where to begin?

First of all, does volunteering to willingly submit to an illegal practice make the practice somehow all good? I mean, I could volunteer to be shot up with sodium pentothal, but that doesn’t mean the Austin Police department should start questioning suspects that way. Also, isn’t there just a teensy bit of difference between willingly participating in something as opposed to having the procedure forced upon you?

And what does Ashcroft mean by “necessary” here? Does he mean to say that he would be waterboarded if it were necessary to prove that it’s a perfectly swell technique or that he’d do it to keep alive? And who gets to decide that it’s necessary? Because I’m pretty sure the people we’ve waterboarded weren’t given a choice.

Finally, Ashcroft’s definition of torture seems to be “anything that doesn’t kill you” which is about as creepy and disturbing as it gets — and not at all surprising. And this guy was our AG. Great.