Thursday, June 07, 2007

America: Land Of Free, Home Of Brave, Da, Da, Pass The Borscht...

I hope nobody here is pretending that, with the passage of the Military Commissions Act, the CIA isn't torturing anybody anymore.
June 7, 2007 | WASHINGTON -- According to news reports, the White House is preparing to issue an executive order that will set new ground rules for the CIA's secret program for interrogating captured al-Qaida types. Constrained by the 2006 Military Commissions Act, which contains a strict ban on abuse, it is anticipated that the order will jettison waterboarding and other brutal interrogation techniques.

But President Bush has insisted publicly that "tough" techniques work, and has signaled that the CIA's secret program can somehow continue under the rubric of the Military Commissions Act. The executive order will reportedly hand the CIA greater latitude than the military to conduct coercive interrogations. If waterboarding goes the way of the Iron Maiden, what "tough" techniques will the CIA use on its high-value detainees?

The answer is most likely a measure long favored by the CIA -- sensory deprivation.
Do read that whole Salon article. You may be surprised to learn how brutalizing the method of sensory deprivation can really be.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon Inspector General reports that psychologists are implicated in the worst of the prisoner abuses prior to the MCA, including the practices of waterboarding and sexual humiliation. (Oh, and yeah— waterboarding is another of those torture methods which people often fail to understand the brutality of it.)
Were Psychologists Involved in the Transformation of SERE Training Techniques into Interrogation methods? YES.

Did the Interrogation Methods Considered by the Pentagon's "Working Group" and Authorized by Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld Originate With SERE Psychologists? YES.

Were the SERE Techniques Used in Iraq and Did Psychologists Play a Role in Bringing Them There? YES.

Did SERE Techniques Migrate to Afghanistan? YES.

Did the OIG Find the Use of SERE Techniques to be Inappropriate? YES.

Were Psychologists Central to the Development and Promulgation of Abusive Interrogation Techniques? YES.

What has the APA Said About Psychologists Participation in National Security Interrogations [emphases added unless otherwise noted]?

The APA leadership has repeatedly said that psychologists' participation in interrogations helps keep them "safe, legal, ethical and effective." [...]
...and the American Psychological Association (APA) continues to endorse it.
Although the American Medical Association and the American Psychiatric Association have passed resolutions prohibiting members from participating in interrogations, the American Psychological Association refuses to, despite the outrage of many of its members.
Have a nice day, citizen. Do try to maintain your composure. It'd sure be a shame if you were to require consultation with a psychologist to be a functional productive member of society.

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