American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond by Michael Otterman

By Michael Otterman

George W. Bush calls them an "alternative set of procedures": forcing sufferers to face for 40 hours; depriving them of sleep for weeks on finish; and strapping prisoners to susceptible forums, then flooding their mouths with water. those ideas are torture, and they're felony within the United States.

Michael Otterman unearths the lengthy heritage of U.S. torture. He exhibits how those methods grew to become ordinary perform in today's conflict on terror. first and foremost, the CIA established their ideas at the strategies in their enemies, the Nazis, Soviets, and chinese language. Billions of greenbacks have been spent learning, refining, then instructing those strategies to interrogators charged with preserving communism at bay. They produced approach manuals that have been utilized in Vietnam, Latin the USA, and somewhere else. because the chilly battle ended, those tortures---engineered to depart deep mental wounds yet few actual scars---were legalized utilizing the very legislation that have been designed to eliminate their use. After 9-11, they have been revived back to be used on enemy warring parties detained in America's large gulag of prisoners around the globe---from mystery CIA black websites in Thailand to the prison at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

Michael Otterman indicates that those interrogation tools violate greater than overseas legislations and primary human rights. They radicalize enemies, undermine credibility, and yield unreliable intelligence. they don't make us extra secure. They make us much less safe.

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Extra info for American Torture: From the Cold War to Abu Ghraib and Beyond

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At McGill, Dr Donald O. Hebb, then head of the psychology department, was experimenting on university student volunteers with a sophisticated isolation box he had built. The results were astounding. As Hebb later concluded, ‘Without physical pain, without drugs, the personality can be badly deformed simply by modifying the perceptual environment’. Between 1951 and 1954, Dr Hebb received about US$10 000 per year under ‘Contract X-38’ from the Canadian Defence Research Board (CDRB) to conduct ‘radical isolation’ research.

In addition to unwitting soldiers, subjects used in these trials included ‘individuals of dubious loyalty, suspected agents or plants, [and] subjects having known reason for deception’, according to one agency document. Another lists ‘potential agents, defectors, refugees, [and] POWs’ as ideal ‘research material’. Morse Allen, head of the Bluebird program, called trials with these types ‘terminal experiments’— terminal in the sense that they would end at the discretion of the experimenter, not the subject.

During this time, Air Force officials vehemently defended the school. Air Force Secretary Donald Quaries said that based on the advice of Air Force psychologists— most likely the men from the Psychological Warfare Division—he recognised the ‘value and need’ of the course. Stead officials agreed. Colonel McKenzie believed he was ‘running a good school’. According to McKenzie, ‘We don’t torture or degrade the students. ’ Major John Oliphant, training director of the school, said most of the students looked at the seventeen-day course as a ‘vacation—sort of like playing cops and robbers’.

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