The torture done by the United States, in detail.

August 25, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Glenn Greenwald reports on the torture done in our names, and it’s sickening. You can read succinct descriptions of the sort this terrible conduct.

There’s a lot of wailing and whining by conservatives that disclosing our own reprehensible conduct is inappropriate. That’s because they can’t justify this behavior in the least.

How was it that we now know about the torture done by the United States?   No thanks to Congress:

[I]t should be emphasized that yet again, it is not the Congress or the establishment media which is uncovering these abuses and forcing disclosure of government misconduct.  Rather, it is the ACLU (with which I consult) that, along with other human rights organizations, has had to fill the void left by those failed institutions, using their own funds to pursue litigation to compel disclosure.  Without their efforts, we would know vastly less than we know now about the crimes our government committed.

If any other country tortured Americans, most conservatives would be making sure that everyone knew about the torture and many of them would be trying to declare war on that country.


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Category: American Culture, Corruption, Good and Evil, Politics

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (2)

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  1. Erich Vieth says:

    Glenn Greenwald explains that most Americans don't understand the extent or severity of the torture conducted by the United States:

    [T]he reality of the torture regime is so vastly different from what the media typically depicts. I think if you ask most Americans what the torture regime and what the torture controversy was about, they would say, understandably, that it essentially involved waterboarding, pouring some water down the noses of three al-Qaeda members who were involved in the 9/11 attacks. That’s what they understand it to be, because that’s what the discussions about are almost always about. The reality, though, is quite different.

    This is yet another report that details that the abuses that took place were pervasive and systematic, far more than three people, involving hundreds of people, perhaps thousands, that they involved people who even the CIA report said there was no incredible intelligence to believe that they were involved in terrorism of any kind, meaning that they were completely innocent of any wrongdoing. These were the people to whom we subjected these abuses.

    And I think, beyond that, the kinds of techniques, the kinds of tactics that were used, as you indicated in your opening, are incredibly brutal and barbaric, exactly the kinds of methods that we’ve long condemned and called for war crimes prosecutions when engaged in by other countries.

  2. Erich Vieth says:

    The government has now released more information on how to torture prisoners, these being the prisoners condemned to "Extraordinary Rendition."

    All of these practices are carefully engineered to facilitate the interrogation process. Nudity, sleep deprivation and dietary manipulation are used as standard preparatory steps. It then details the standard "corrective techniques:" these are a series of physical assaults labeled with innocuous titles like insult slap, abdominal slap, facial hold and attention grasp. "Coercive techniques" used include: walling (slamming a prisoner's head against the wall, with some protective measures to avoid severe injuries), water dousing, the use of the stress position (known to the inquisition as the strapado, to the Germans in World War II as Pfahlbinden), wall standing (referred to by the NKVD and KGB as stoika) and cramped confinement. Because of substantial redactions, it seems unlikely that this list is complete.

    These documents were not released willingly by the government. It took a lawsuit by the ACLU.

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