The CIA's waterboarding regimen was so excruciating, the memos show, that agency officials found themselves grappling with an unexpected development: detainees simply gave up and tried to let themselves drown. "In our limited experience, extensive sustained use of the waterboard can introduce new risks," the CIA's Office of Medical Services wrote in its 2003 memo. "Most seriously, for reasons of physical fatigue or psychological resignation, the subject may simply give up, allowing excessive filling of the airways and loss of consciousness."
If the person under interrogation would rather die than continue the interrogation, I think we can call it torture. I've been against this from the beginning, but I'm surprised it was that horrible. It pains me that my country is guilty of this, and still obstructing justice in dealing with it.
(h/t Andrew Sullivan.)