In the media
The Independent: “I specialise in the psychology of torture, so I know the truth behind Trump’s claims that waterboarding works”
26 January 2017
US President Donald Trump recently stated that he was in favour of the re-establishment of the use of some forms of torture such as waterboarding in order to “keep [the US] safe”. Following this statement, a debate was raised as to whether or not the use of these torture techniques were actually effective.
In the Independent article, Professor Dando explained that waterboarding: “is done by forcibly immobilising the victim, tilting the head, then placing a cloth or plastic wrap over the victim’s face and pouring water over the cloth and into the breathing passages […] It is designed to overcome the will of the individual by causing physical and psychological suffering”.
Professor Dando revealed that “this form of torture causes serious physical and psychological traumas which actually may interfere with the quality and quantity of any information that might be forthcoming”. She added: “In situations of extreme stress and pain (physical and psychological) human cognitive processes begin to break down, sometimes irrevocably – extreme stress and pain bring about false memories, reduce the ability to remember information, and seriously affect decision-making and memory performance”.
Professor Dando concluded that the efficacy of waterboarding or to any forms of torture in gathering information is unclear. According to her, it would be relevant to look for “other cerebral interrogation techniques which offer much to those tasked with gaining intelligence from high value detainees”. Waterboarding could be therefore “not the best way of persuading information-holders to yield”.
About the University of Westminster:
The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.
We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.
Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.
Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.