Sunday, October 9, 2016


Today’s NY Times article exposes the long-term psychological effects of the CIA torture program at Guantanamo and secret prisons known as “black sites” throughout the world. The article cites the techniques that were repeatedly used: the use of dogs, sleep deprivation, sensory deprivation, dressing prisoners in diapers, beatings, sexual abuse, the threat of sexual abuse, the pouring of buckets of ice water over naked prisoners with their hands shackled over their heads, holding prisoners’ heads in toilets, chaining prisoners to ceilings, locking prisoners in boxes, mock executions, rectal feeding, threats to harm prisoners’ children and rape family members, and the list goes on and on.
The rationale behind the torture program was known as “learned helplessness” based on a study in the 60s with the use of electric shocks on dogs that showed that beings stop resisting once they learn they cannot stop the shocks. So the shocks were administered on a regular basis in hope that they would lead to confessions. The article also notes that psychologists at Guantanamo worked hand in glove with the interrogators.
Needless to say, many of the victims of these ghastly techniques were innocent of the charges. Those who were eventually released were not even given an apology, leading one former prisoner to say “they killed our youth in Guantanamo and then tossed us away like garbage.” 
But the issue isn’t whether these men were guilty or innocent. In either case, the torture was unjustifiable, violates international law and invites the terrorists to do the same. The real point is that those responsible for the black site torture program should be brought to justice. And one more point: The exposure of the torture program begs for a national discussion about U.S. empire and what it is all about. Neither Democratic nor Republican Party presidential candidates will do that, as demonstrated by the score or so of debates this year (including the ones Bernie Sanders participated in). Only a third- party candidate will bring these issues to the fore. One good reason to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein.


At October 9, 2016 at 11:24 AM , Blogger Nando Troyani said...

The horror inflicted in such circumstances fully qualify as crimes against humanity. Accordingly, must be treated as such.

At October 9, 2016 at 12:38 PM , Blogger Peter said...

We better be organized to continue activisim after the election, woever wins. In the mentime, Trump is a major danger, and Hilary is response t pressures from the left, viz. Sanders.

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