Conservative radio shock jock Eric "Mancow" Muller (sample quote: "Obama can keep his "hope", the rest of us would like to keep our money, guns, and God!") decided to prove that waterboarding isn't torture by subjecting him self to it on the air. Of course, as my colleague Chris Orr has pointed out, getting waterboarded for a limited duration under circumstances you control is nothing like being waterboarded as a prisoner. Still, the experiment was interesting:

"The average person can take this for 14 seconds," Marine Sergeant Clay South answered, adding, "He's going to wiggle, he's going to scream, he's going to wish he never did this."

With a Chicago Fire Department paramedic on hand,  Mancow was placed on a 7-foot long table, his legs were elevated, and his feet were tied up.  

Turns out the stunt wasn't so funny. Witnesses said Muller thrashed on the table, and even instantly threw the toy cow he was holding as his emergency tool to signify when he wanted the experiment to stop.  He only lasted 6 or 7 seconds.

"It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that's no joke,"Mancow said, likening it to a time when he nearly drowned as a child.  "It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back...It was instantaneous...and I don't want to say this: absolutely torture."

"I wanted to prove it wasn't torture," Mancow said.

I think the torture debate would be mighty different if more of the conservatives who scoff at waterboarding would try the same thing.

--Jonathan Chait