American torture in the Philippines. VIII

Here is a description quoted in the Washington correspondence of the
Chicago Record-Herald, from John Loughran, who had seen it
"administered to natives in the islands during the first year of
American supremacy" (which was certainly before the natives had been
discovered to be a cruel set of people): - A light but strong rope is
passed across the throat of the man to be examined. It is crossed
behind his back and carried under the arm pits, the ends are again
brought around the neck and over to the back, turned under the armpits
and shoulders, and then the free ends are carried as a girdle around
the waist just at the end of the ribs, and tied fast and securely. A
stick is put through the ropes where they cross between the shoulders,
and then turned to suit. " Will it make a man talk?" Mr. Loughran was
asked. "A wooden Indian would make a speech if you gave him the rope
cure," he replied. Mr. Loughran says that this was far more effective
than the water cure, which is slow. The rope cure often persuaded a
native to reveal the hiding-place of his gun; and it did it quickly,
because he knew that as soon as he consented to talk the stick would
be loosened and would fly back, relieving the agony instantaneously.
Of course, if the victim should have a weak heart, he might die of
shock; but the native Filipino does not seem to be troubled with the
malady. This letter could be filled with extracts like this from
newspapers. The testimony before the Philippine committee proves
conclusively that the water torture was regularly used by our troops.
Captain Glenn, who administered it, as shown in Panay, was at the time
the judge advocate of the island, and as such bound to see that
violations of the laws of war were punished. It was he who gave the
orders to burn Igbaras, which was fired between eight and nine in the
morning and by twelve was entirely destroyed. As to the people, " they
only had time to save the clothes they wore at the time," * was the
testimony of Private Smith, who set the fire and who testified also
that Lieutenant Conger ordered torture by saying " water detail,"
showing that this was no isolated case. Corporal Gibbs testified to
knowing of the water cure at Catbalogan; t tried to peep in at the
windows of the place where it was administered; heard the moans of the
victims. He saw the sickly expression on their faces as they came out.
He heard that one died, ) * Evidence, p. t54o. t Ibid., p. 2303. Note
that this was General Smith's headquarters.


Title: Secretary Root's record. "Marked severities" in Philippine
warfare. An analysis of the law and facts bearing on the action and
utterances of President Roosevelt and Secretary Root.
Author: Storey, Moorfield, 1845-1929.
Publication Info: Boston,: G.H. Ellis co., printers, 1902.