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Was Abu Ghraib Standard CIA Torture?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 3:52 am

From 1950 to 1962, the CIA led massive, secret research into coercion and consciousness that reached a billion dollars at peak. After experiments with hallucinogenic drugs, electric shocks, and sensory deprivation, this CIA research produced a new method of torture that was psychological, not physical--best described as "no touch torture."

The CIA's discovery of psychological torture was a counter-intuitive break-through--indeed, the first real revolution in this cruel science since the 17th century. In its modern application, the physical approach required interrogators to inflict pain, usually by crude beatings that often produced heightened resistance or unreliable information. Under the CIA's new psychological paradigm, however, interrogators used two essential methods, disorientation and self-inflicted pain, to make victims feel responsible for their own suffering.


Following the CIA's two-part technique, last September General Miller instructed US military police at Abu Ghraib to soften up high-priority detainees in the initial disorientation phase for later "successful interrogation and exploitation" by CIA and Military Intelligence. As often happens in "no touch" torture sessions, this process soon moved beyond sleep and sensory deprivation to sexual humiliation. In the second, still unexamined phase, US Army intelligence and CIA operatives probably administered the prescribed mix of interrogation and self-inflicted pain--outside the frame of these photographs.

If a fuller inquiry does establish that this is was what happened at Abu Ghraib, then these seven MPs are neither "creeps" nor weaklings who succumbed to the prison pressure-cooker. They are ordinary American soldiers following orders within a standard interrogation procedure. Whatever their guilt, the court martial of these soldiers should be just a first step up the chain of command and beyond to far-reaching reforms.

That's sad if it's true.

At home and abroad, the United States has been, for over 50 years a strong voice in the fight against torture. Simultaneously, however, the CIA's method has become so widely accepted that US interrogators seem unaware that they are, in fact, engaged in systematic torture. From 1970 to 1988, Congress held hearings four times to expose the CIA's use of torture. But each time, the public did not demand reform and the practice persisted.
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RE: Was Abu Ghraib Standard CIA Torture?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 7:32 am

Psyche-torture is absolutely nothing new... and probably quite a few other unpleasantries.

Those in custody are not under the 'protection' of the GC, so I say do what you must to get what you want from 'em.
Faire du ciel le plus bel endroit de la terre c'est impossible sans Concorde!
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RE: Was Abu Ghraib Standard CIA Torture?

Wed Jun 02, 2004 8:22 am

"Was Abu Ghraib Standard CIA Torture?"

everything indicates that this is indeed the case:

- there has been vast experience with prisoner/guard situations(zimbardo). if there had not been any supervision, rogue soldiers would indeed be a perfect explanation what went wrong.
when you do however consider that this part of the military was under intelligence service supervision, it is very very very doubtful that the superiors didnt support or encourage it. military intel people are ALWAYS very nosey and want to know everything going on in their sphere of influence, so i do believe that they knew it and actually encouraged them to do it because it made their interrogations easier or even ordered them to do it.

- the 30+ "natural dead" in u.s. custody of whom a bunch were already proven murder are a clear enough indication by itself

- "gloves are off now" announcements have been made by various administration officials post 9-11

- the cia has a long lasting history, especially in latin america, of torture and/or teaching local elements torture to support the "preferred regime"

- there are multiple leaked cia documents that in detail deal with all sorts of torture, usually related to latin america, and detailed instructions how to apply them for best results

- there have been statements by various third party nations that they have in fact interrogated u.s. prisoners in relation to 9-11 to achieve quicker results. this means that to get information faster about possible other attacks on the u.s., the cia has had other countries physically torture terrorist suspects when there was a case of urgency where they could not wait for the breakdown of a person due to the in the long run more effective psychological torture

- looking what all happened after 9-11 in the name of the war on terror, i think abu ghraib is one of the things that are practically of the least concern apart from its PR power. the real problem with abu ghraib was in fact only iraqi and u.s. pr, hence not related to the war on terror, apart from the funny neo con justification that "saddam did worse", making the u.s. look like the new asshole of the world with saddam as the measure of moral standarts some people seem to apply to themselves now


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