Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Answer


Here's the answer.

The historically perfected use of torture, as we all know by now, has been in the producing of false confessions, be they of heresy, witchcraft, or political treachery. So imagine this: by some sort of horrible twist of fate, this country elects leaders of ill will. Maybe a delusional and paranoid vice-president (let's call him Dick) and a credulous and malleable president (any suggestions?) And what if they had certain questionable plans in mind, for concealed reasons, like, say, going to war against a country that was no threat to our security. (To be really outrageous, let's pretend they were both oil men, and the country in question had lots of oil. I know. I know. We're getting sort of science fictiony and conspiratorial here. But it's just for the purpose of making a point, okay? Bear with me.) Could it happen that, in order to gin up a plausible cover for their plan, they'd round up people and try to torture them into "revealing" a non-existent link between that country and, say (bear with me, again), a terrorist group?

A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.

"While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results."

So, what's the big deal, the RWS™ and their apologist commenters on this blog might ask? None, I guess, as long as it's god-fearing and truth-telling and thoughtful leaders such as those recently departed. But can you imagine Barack Obama, that godless America-hating Nazi communist, getting his hands on a waterboard? Forcing some CEO to request regulating his industry?

Seriously. How close did we come to returning to the Spanish Inquisition? Close enough, I'd say, to be indistinguishable. If what we are learning about our use of torture and the potential consequences thereof isn't chilling to everyone -- even conservatives!! -- then the danger to our nation is even greater than my rantings imply. There are, we are told, many effective ways to elicit the truth from prisoners. Getting false confessions, for your own purposes? Like Pol Pot, like Torquemada, like Ho Chi Minh, like Stalin, like William Stoughton, like... For that, you need torture.

Trying to force desired answers whether true or not, in order to provide rationale to a predetermined and hidden agenda. Is there anything more potentially destructive to the foundations of democracy?

Seen in that light, ought it not be an entirely non-partisan issue?

9 comments: said...

Have you seen this at Democracy Now?

The Story of Mitchell Jessen & Associates: How a Team of Psychologists in Spokane, WA, Helped Develop the CIA’s Torture Techniques
We broadcast from Spokane, Washington, less than three miles from the headquarters of a secretive CIA contractor that played a key role in developing the Bush administration’s interrogation methods. The firm, Mitchell Jessen & Associates, is named after the two military psychologists who founded the company, James Mitchell and Bruce Jessen. Beginning in 2002, the CIA hired the psychologists to train interrogators in brutal techniques, including waterboarding, sleep deprivation and pain. We speak with three journalists who have closely followed the story.


Anna - No not that one. said...

The invasion of Iraq for dibs on it's oil is not a conspiracy theory. The RAND corporation submitted a white paper to the administration in, I believe, 2002, which outlined the US's dependency on foreign oil and that to sate our country's demand yet not bow to further pressures from OPEC, we would need to replace 10% of what we get from OPEC nations with an alternative source.

That source was tagged as Iraq and its untapped oil reserves.

Bush didn't invade Iraq because he had something to prove, or because his daddy hated him or because bin Laden was playing croquet with Hussein while summering at the palace. Bush went into Iraq strictly for the oil and the economic boost it would bring to the US. The only problem is that they had no idea how much an unwarranted (ethically and legally appalling) invasion would fuck us over on the world stage and bring Lil Dick's dream to a frustrating close.

Frank Drackman said...

So why doesn't Barak Prosecute em...Huh? Huh? Huh? Huh? He IS the Chief Law Enforcement Officer of the Nation, after all. Perhaps because he knows he'll be out of office one day. Torture should be like Abortion, Safe, Legal, and Rare.. Now interogators will have to go to Back Alley Torturers instead of doing it nice and safe...Y'all can't really be gullible enough to think Jack Bower's not gonna find out what Jamal-al-Turban-Head knows??

Sid Schwab said...

Okay, everyone, stop the presses. Frank Drackman entirely ignores the point of the post. Mark the day on your calendars.

And I'm more concerned about Tony than Jack at this point.

Frank Drackman said...

It's called "thinking with the Right side of your Brain"...You're Righthanded aren't you??...

be'd sorta Ironic that a Left-Wing Surgeon is a Rightie while a Right Wing Gas Passer is a Lefty...

Almost enough to make you believe in the Big Guy upstairs...

Got some "Aggressive Interogation" to do...


Ivyfree said...

This sounds crazy... but I have a really good friend who was in Iraq with her National Guard unit. She was sent to language school and was functioning as an interpreter/interrogator. She says the biggest help in talking with Iraqis and getting information is a bag of Gummi bears. Yeah, you heard me! She says they're halal and that she never met an Iraqi who didn't enjoy them. Apparently, if you sit down with the person, act like he's a human being, and offer him some candy that you know is dietarily acceptible to him... it's easier to carry on a conversation and get information.

I swear. I am NOT making this up.


Anonymous said...

Frank --

"It's called 'thinking with the Right side of your Brain'...You're Righthanded aren't you??..."

You do know that each hand is controlled by the opposite side of the brain, right? And English is not your first language, right?

"Got some 'Aggressive Interogation' to do..."

Give your poor little penis a break, Frank! It doesn't know anything.

--Sam Spade

Anonymous said...

Sorry to bother you, but would you mind telling me what RWS stands for?

Anonymous said...

Classof65 --

Right Wing Screamers.

--Sam Spade

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