Wednesday, July 02, 2008


The hits, they just keep coming. And by hits, I mean punches to the gut of course:

The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

The recycled chart is the latest and most vivid evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and by the Central Intelligence Agency.

Shame. Profound and bitter shame. I want more from my country than for our top government officials to go diving in the dumpsters of Communist regimes in order to recycle discarded manuals on torture. And for all you apologists and semantic hair splitters that insist on dancing the torture/not torture two step: you've been had. Not that you'd know it or admit it.

Anyway, there's a presidential election this November. One of the candidates, John McCain, wants to continue to permit our government to engage in a policy of torture gleaned from observing the methods employed by brutal Communist regimes. The other candidate, Barack Obama, doesn't.

Tough choice.

(via Gary Farber, whose Nietzche reference is spot on)

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