"torture lite"

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Balbus, May 11, 2004.

  1. Balbus

    Balbus Senior Member

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    Some people still seem to be implying that this torture can be dismissed as an aberration a very rare occurrence perpetrated by a very small group of people working independently.

    However the claim that the US has been using ‘torture lite’ has been going on for some time (I’ve raised the subject myself a few times on the forum) and at many locations. The reports of what this could mean have been graphically being explained and were also well known (the surprise to me about the pictures was not their content but the fact they were taken). The methods used have been taught to American intelligence agencies and at the School of the Americas for years -

    "The two recently declassified CIA manuals make even more chilling reading. The CIA had written KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation in 1963 for use by US agents against perceived Soviet subversion. (KUBARK was the CIA's code name for itself. ) While it was not intended to train foreign military services, its successor, Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual --- 1983, which drew heavily on material in KUBARK, was used in at least seven US training courses conducted in Latin American countries between 1982 and 1987, according to a June 1988 memo placed inside the manual. This 1983 manual originally surfaced in response to a June 1988 congressional hearing which was prompted by allegations by the New York Times that the US had taught Honduran military officers who used torture. The 1988 hearing was not the first time such manuals had surfaced. In 1984, a CIA manual for training the Nicaraguan Contras in psychological operations created a considerable scandal.

    These two CIA textbooks deal exclusively with interrogation and devote an entire chapter each to "coercive techniques." Human Resource Exploitation recommends surprising suspects in the predawn hours, arresting, blindfolding, and stripping them naked. Suspects should be held incommunicado, it advises, and deprived of normal routines in eating and sleeping. Interrogation rooms should be windowless, sound proof, dark, and without toilets. The manuals do admonish that torture techniques can backfire and that the threat of pain is often more effective than pain itself. However, they then go on to describe coercive techniques ''to induce psychological regression in the subject by bringing a superior outside force to bear on his will to resist.'' These techniques include prolonged constraint, prolonged exertion, extremes of heat, cold, or moisture, deprivation of food or sleep, disrupting routines, solitary confinement, threats of pain, deprivation of sensory stimuli, hypnosis, and use of drugs or placebos.

    According to the Baltimore Sun, "the methods taught in the 1983 manual and those used by [the US-trained Honduran] Battalion 316 in the early 1980s show unmistakable similarities." The paper cites the case of Ines Murillo, a Honduran prisoner who claimed she was held in secret jails in 1983, given no food or water for days, and kept from sleeping by having water poured on her head every ten minutes.

    Dismissive of the rule of law, Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual-1983 states the importance of knowing local laws on detention, but then notes, "Illegal detention always requires prior [headquarters] approval.'' The manual also refers to one or two weeks of "practical work" with prisoners as part of the course, suggesting that US trainers may have worked with Latin American militaries in interrogating actual detainees. This reference gives new support to the claims by Latin Americans held as prisoners and by US nun Dianna Ortiz, tortured by the Guatemalan army in 1989, that US personnel were present in interrogation and torture rooms.

    In 1985, in a superficial attempt to correct the worst of the 1983 manual, a page advising against using coercive techniques was inserted and handwritten changes were haphazardly introduced into the text. For example, "While we do not stress the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them and the proper way to use them," has been coyly altered to, "While we deplore the use of coercive techniques, we do want to make you aware of them so that you may avoid them." But the entire chapter on coercive techniques is still included, again with some items crossed out. Throughout, the reader can easily read the original underneath the "corrected" items. These corrections were made in response to the 1984 scandal when the CIA training manual for the Contras hit the headlines.

    The second manual, KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation, is clearly the source of much of the 1983 manual; some passages are lifted verbatim. KUBARK has a similar section on coercive techniques, and includes some even more abhorrent elements, such as two references to the use of electric shock. For example, one passage requires US agents to obtain "prior Headquarters approval ... if bodily harm is to be inflicted," or "if medical, chemical, or electrical methods" are to be used. A third condition for obtaining prior approval is, ominously, whited out."
  2. Chongo Blanco

    Chongo Blanco Banned

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    Well we tried pretty please and it didn't work.
  3. backtothelab

    backtothelab Senior Member

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    Yes, we torture.

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