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View Diary: Torture 101: CIA text on teaching "coercive interrogation" (26 comments)

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  •  Thank you again Valtin (2+ / 0-)
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    Valtin, blueness

    The very fact that we have people sitting around a table discussing what is torture and what isn't and how to cloud the issues shows how far we have to go in becoming a humane society.

    Thanks again.

    (-9.00, -8.92) No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. --Edward R. Murrow

    by craigb on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 05:21:52 PM PST

    •  I personally would like (1+ / 0-)
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      blueness

      ... to see an end to the ridiculous emphasis put on the juridical difference between "torture" and "cruel, inhumane, and degrading treatment". The differentiation is used, as you suggest, to cloud the discussion and confuse our understanding.

      That is why it is so important to become educated in the subject, especially from a historical standpoint.

      Btw, the U.S. began making a big stink about defining torture in the 1980s, when the UN Convention Against Torture treaty came up for consideration. Suddenly, you couldn't have too many lawyers combing over the word "torture". Bybee's memos to A. Gonzalez are masterpieces of this kind of pettifogging obfuscation.

      Never In Our Names

      "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth."

      by Valtin on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 05:31:56 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks Valtin. (1+ / 0-)
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        Valtin

        Three wide-ranging thoughts come to mind.

        1. Is there any discussion about the ability of one who is aware of the methods and their intended purpose, to resist? This relates to the recent directive that detainees are forbidden to discuss the methods of their torture, even with their lawyers.
        1. With respect to the 'hands-off' self-infliction of pain via e.g. standing at attention: what is the threatened punishment for failing to comply? And how can the tormentor force the victim to self-inflict if the detainee is 'on to' this technique and refuses? Inflicting pain in the form of a beating would mean the detainee 'wins.' Would the self-infliction be posited as a 'lesser of pains' or alternative to e.g. sleep deprivation or lack of nutrition?
        1. How does all of this jive with the notion that even so, the information gained is worthless?
        1. "a strong fear of anything vague or unknown induces regression"  I have a theory that regression is the method by which Rush Limbaugh, et. al. manipulate those susceptible into adhering to the propagandists, as I described this morning in a comment:

        The neocon/Rush Limbaugh media have used psychology to innoculate their adherents from being able to tolerate hearing or heeding anything that contradicts their adopted bias. I call this the 'ick' factor. Anything that is perceived as 'not' congruent with the propaganda they've been spoonfed by RW media makes them feel icky with cognitive dissonance, and is rejected out of hand. They are addicted to the feel-good message they get from Rush and his clones who know how to feed into long-standing resentments and anger. The listeners are encouraged to feel justified, comfortable and self-righteous in their unresolved resentments, and to scape goat whoever Rush presents, in his sneering tone and demeaning adjectives. Old resentments from childhood are revived and displaced onto 'libruls.' It's an addiction: they feel angry and bitter at all of the things that are wrong in their lives. Listening to Rush's vituperations makes them feel better, like a narcotic. Trying to disabuse them of their addiction to this cycle with facts doesn't work. They need a whole new system for relating to the world, and understanding their inherent emotional dynamic.

        This is a totally new revelation for me, and I'll bet, as a professional psychologist, you may be able to go further with this. Maybe you and others dedicated to healing our nation can figure out a way of exposing this dynamic in a way that enables those who have been gulled by the propaganda to safely, comfortably, shamelessly come to their senses.

        •  judasdisney's comment reminded me of (1+ / 0-)
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          Valtin

          one more thing.

          majikthise reports the treatment of the striking janitors by the Houston PD. Based on my reading of FOIA docs from an Army investigation into an incident at a forward operating base in Iraq, the treatment of the janitors is indistinguishable from that of the Iraqi detainees.

          •  Phoenix Woman alerts to TPM discussion (1+ / 0-)
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            Halcyon

            on SERE. The acronym stands for Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape, and is a U.S. military program training special ops on how to resist interrogation and torture (and, it seems, how to conduct it, too). Jane Mayer at the New Yorker had a very important piece on it, too, back in July 2005:

            Critics also allege that the sere program has become a testing ground for interrogation techniques involving sexual embarrassment and humiliation. (Detainees at Guantánamo have complained of such methods, and the scandal at Abu Ghraib last year revealed that guards there photographed prisoners naked and in sexually humiliating poses.) A former military-intelligence officer who was familiar with practices at Guantánamo told me that a friend who had gone through Level C sere training, which lasts three weeks, said that he had been sexually ridiculed by females during the program. “They strip you naked and make you do work while women laugh at the size of your ‘junk,’ ” the intelligence officer told me. “Apparently, it’s very humiliating.” The sere affiliate described another disturbing training technique: the “mock rape.” In this exercise, a female officer stands behind a screen and screams as if she were being violated. A trainee is told that he can stop the rape if he coöperates with his captors.

            When U.S. torture has exceeded the outlines of the old CIA model I've described, I think you can trace its etiology back to the SERE program. In the future, I will look at who ran that program, and how and why they deviated from SOP for torture, to experiment with new, ever-more barbaric forms of torture. My guess is, a certain wing of the CIA and Pentagon were not happy with how this is or was conducted. They want to go back to the sensory deprivation paradigm. -- In any case, it's all barbaric.

            Never In Our Names

            "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth."

            by Valtin on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 07:50:21 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Re your comments (1+ / 0-)
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          Halcyon
          1. Yes. A major theme is how to resist interrogation. So the Bush Administration is not coming from nowhere in their insistence methods should be kept secret... if you are a torturer wanting to safeguard your methods. The ability to resist and how effective one can be is a difficult, complex question to answer.
          1. I don't know the answer to this. I remember reading that those who fail are physically punished, but I don't know if that's the norm.
          1. Well, they seem to think that about 1/3 of the info is not worthless. And even re the "worthless" info, it is still data that they feed in and analyze. Then again, there is the more political, unspoken angle: assertion of power through terror.
          1. You are correct that large-scale induction of fear causes a kind of societal wide regression (what Lifton called, in one instance, psychic numbing).

          Thanks for your thoughtful comments and questions.

          Never In Our Names

          "The past was erased, the erasure was forgotten, the lie became truth."

          by Valtin on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 07:13:28 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Yes, yes (1+ / 0-)
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        Valtin

        and as nimbly as the names of Perl, Cheney  and Wolfowitz come tumbling off of the tongue, all of America should know and curse for history the name of John Woo, the Architect of Torture.

        The little fuck is a Berkeley professor of law of all things and turned into the tool of Cheney, Bush and Gonzalez in torture!

        It's a shame that only in my home town, Berkeley, does the cry of "Fuck Woo" resonate.

        (-9.00, -8.92) No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. --Edward R. Murrow

        by craigb on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:04:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Bush Judicial Nominee Haynes (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Valtin
          was also an architect of torture, with Gonzales rounding out the team.

          "The healthy man does not torture others - generally it is the tortured who turn into torturers. " Jung

          by sailmaker on Sun Nov 19, 2006 at 06:14:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

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