Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Reverse-engineering a torture program

Those who have paid much attention have for some time held the general opinion that the U.S. came up with its torture regimen -- "enhanced interrogation" is a euphemism, developed because the perpetrators knew it was really torture but knew the term wouldn't fly -- by studying old military manuals and programs designed to help U.S. servicemen and spooks resist communist torture, or at least have an idea of what was coming. Now the NYT has found something of a smoking gun. An old article (1957) on communist torture techniques used by the North Koreans during the Korean war contained charts. One of the manuals sent to train interrogators at Guantanamo contained exactly the same chart, showing sleep deprivation, stress positions and other techniques, with the title removed. So the U.S. essentially copied communist techniques of torture. I can't wait to hear the wave of apologies from conservative and neoconservative bloggers and writers who have defended U.S. policies or claimed it wasn't really torture. They must be chagrined to be defending communist practices all this time.

Maybe I better turn my hearing aid up.

1 comment:

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