Aid and Comfort for Torturers?

Since the issue of the missing CIA interrogation tapes first surfaced and every intelligence agency is scrambling to conduct damage control and get expensive legal representation I have wondered as to what could have been on those tapes?

Since they have been destroyed ( and I wonder at this ) we can only imagine what their content was, or can we? It made me think of the tortured individuals and their ordeal but even more so it made me wonder as to the nature of the torturers themselves.
What kind of individuals are these that can inflict pain on another human being and live with their conscience? Do the families of these individuals know what their spouses do? In view of the fact that the majority of torturers are male there must be a number of women who unknowingly lay down to sleep with these individuals not knowing (?) what their husbands do. Could it be that they don’t want to know.

While not all who serve in Guantánamo are directly involved in the process of torture, the ones who do serve there have a good idea as to the identities of these individuals. I wonder how they live with it. I spent a night thinking about this article and how I would approach it and I couldn’t sleep just thinking about it. When I finally gave up trying to sleep I got out of bed and began doing some research across the Net to see what I could dig up. Obviously a lot of material regarding torture at the infamous Guantánamo is classified. There are however some documents that have been declassified and have come to light.

It might shock some to know that not all who are involved in the practice of torture are all pathological sadist. On the contrary, from what I have read some of the individuals are actually in the medical profession. Imagine American Mengele’s , right out of some Freudian nightmare! As to their involvement in the actual process who can tell? Everything is kept under a cloak of secrecy and will probably not be known for years to come.

I can go on to describe some of the horrific techniques used to extract information from these torture victims but I don’t have the stomach for it. Instead I will direct you to the various links where you can read in-depth accounts and articles regarding this heinous of ancient practices in our modern times.

Be warned, some of the descriptions are graphic.  

Let us begin our journey into a Freudian Nightmare.

Torturers R’ Us

President Bush denies reality
By Kristian Williams

The national debate on torture reached a new level in October when the Senate voted 90 to nine to restrict Defense Department interrogation techniques and prohibit the “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of anyone in U.S. custody. The vote came as a major rebuke to President George Bush, who threatened to veto the military spending bill if the proposals were included. More…


Aid and Comfort for Torturers: Psychology and Coercive Interrogations in Historical Perspective

By Stephen Soldz
Sat Apr 14, 2007 at 03:02:32 PM PST

On January 24, 2003, National Guardsman Sean Baker, stationed as a military policeman at Guantánamo detention center, volunteered to be a mock prisoner , donning an orange suit and refusing to leave his cell as part of a training exercise. As planned, an Immediate Reaction Force team of MPs attempted to extract him from the cell. When he uttered the code word, “red,” indicating that this was a drill and that he’d had enough, one of the MPs “forced my head down against the steel floor and was sort of just grinding it into the floor. More…

Middle East

America’s tortuous road to Abu Ghraib

By Alfred W McCoy


From ancient Rome’s red-hot irons and lacerating hooks to medieval Europe’s thumbscrews, rack and wheel, for more than 2,000 years anyone interrogated in a court of law could expect to suffer unspeakable tortures. More…


Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted

By Gary Cohn, Ginger Thompson, and Mark Matthews, The Baltimore Sun, Monday 27 January 1997, Final Edition

WASHINGTON — A newly declassified CIA training manual details torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s, refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were taught there. More…


 Medical Ethics and the Interrogation

of Guantanamo 063

Steven H. Miles, University of Minnesota Center for Bioethics

This one is a PDF. 

Guantánamo’s lost souls

 Brent Mickum

The abuse of British residents Bisher al-Rawi and Jamil el-Banna in US detention is an outrage of justice we must bring to an end.
January 8, 2007 8:45 PM
January 11 2007 marks the confluence of two ignominious anniversaries. The first is the five-year anniversary of the opening of the notorious prison camps run by the United States at the Guantánamo Naval Air Station in Cuba. In the five years since the United States started shipping prisoners from around the world to Guantánamo, approximately 99% of the prisoners have never been charged with any transgression, much less a crime.



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