Raving Liberal – Through the Water-board
I’m fed up and can’t take it any more..
In another chapter of “Through the Water-board” I watch Dick Cheney, on national television defend the use of water-board torture in the supposed defense of this country. What I don’t understand is why no one is talking about what REALLY happened at Guantanamo Bay and presumably many other secret CIA locations. In her book The Shock Doctrine, Naomi Klein discusses in great length the horrific mind destroying techniques used by CIA “interrogators.” Techniques that literally devastate a persons mind permanently, reducing their “personality” to a shattered pile of random memories, hallucinations and god knows what.
Ms. Klein tells the story of Ewen Cameron, a psychiatrist funded by the CIA starting in the early 50’s who worked for decades to develop a program to effectively erase a persons mind completely, creating a “Clean Slate” to be reprogrammed. This “doctor” literally destroyed the lives of many hundreds of innocent people, guilty of only being considered “difficult” or “anti-social,” and all funded by the US government. These people, who in most cases did not even commit a crime, but were sent to the infirmary by spouses or family for being “difficult” or “amorous”, were subjected to MONTHS of continuous sensor depravation, interspersed with brief, shocking sensory overload sequences including repeated electric shocks to THE BRAIN. And these techniques which, while completely useless in “repairing” these people, proved to be very effective at completely breaking people, shattering them, maybe a better term. And in many cases, literally permanently devastating their minds.
You see the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, (the majority probably innocent of any terrorist activities) were not just water-boarded, but many were mentally devastated using these same techniques developed by Dr Cameron.. As an example, Jose Padilla, the “Dirty Bomber” (and the incredibly thin case against him), was kept in a pitch black cell, for 1307 straight days, The only times he was moved was to be interrogated and anywhere he was taken, he was transported with blackout goggles and soundproof head phones. For FOUR STRAIGHT YEARS, he was continuously in the dark except, for the brief periods when he was mentally and physically beaten, electrically shocked, blasted with harsh loud sounds and lights and, of course, water-boarded.. As a result of this treatment Padilla is now mentally damaged, or in the words of his lawyer, “the government has robbed him of his personhood.” And this treatment wasn’t just reserved for Padilla, but was used on literally hundreds, if not thousands of prisoners, for months on end, with the same results. Permanently shattered minds. Human shells.. It appears Guantanamo is literally full of them.
That is what we are talking about here.. Not just people subjected to horrific experiences they survive. NO, these prisoners are destroyed. They are alive, but not really. And the numbers or “combatants” exposed to this heinous treatment may well be in the THOUSANDS for no one knows how many have been exported and kept in secret sites all over the world.. And many also may have been completely innocent, but no one will ever know now, for they cannot even defend themselves, if they had a chance.. They are mentally incapacitated.
So as you watch the parade of Bush administration shills still trying to justify the “Water-boarding” as something not all that bad, but necessary for our “Safety”. When you watch Sean Hannity suggest he might be willing to try it just to prove it wasn’t all that bad, when you wonder if maybe all this water-boarding stuff may be overblown, know this… Water-boarding was just the crust on the moral chancre that was the CIA’s interrogation program during the Bush administration. And every one of these heinous techniques and each and every one of those human minds that were permanently destroyed were destroyed under the direct ORDERS of President Bush himself. Yes, with a dispassion reminiscent of the torture scene at the end of the movie Brazil, Dick Cheney had the gall to literally admit this recently on national television. Bush knew all about it, signed off on it. They all knew.
“But it was done to defend our freedom…”
I think it’s time to read Brave New World… again.
And read The Shock Doctrin by Naomi Klein. It’s a MUST read…