The Methods Of Communist Totalitarians


The torture and abuse techniques authorized by the president of the United States were drawn from methods designed by the Communist Chinese to extract false confessions from broken human beings (although many of the torture methods - from hypothermia to sleep deprivation - had been pioneered by the Gestapo using George Tenet's precise phrase "enhanced interrogation". The historical proof of this is here - and Americans tried and executed those responsible for the same techniques now used by the president of the United States.)

The more you think about this, the more disturbing it is. The United States fought and won the Cold War only to import some of the worst abuses of Communist totalitarians into the American constitution - and no one at the highest reaches of the Bush administration countered. Moreover, the techniques had nothing to do with gaining any sort of reliable intelligence. They were devised from the beginning to produce falsehoods for propaganda. More evidence from the Senate Report:

Exemplifying the disturbing nature and substance of the training, the SERE instructors explained “Biderman’s Principles” – which were based on coercive methods used by the Chinese Communist dictatorship to elicit false confessions from U.S. POWs during the Korean War –  and left with GTMO personnel a chart of those coercive techniques...

These techniques were personally and explicitly authorized against prisoners by the president and subsequently the Pentagon:

While key documents relating to the interrogation remain classified, published accounts indicate that military working dogs had been used against Khatani.  He had also been deprived of adequate sleep for weeks on end, stripped naked, subjected to loud music, and made to wear a leash and perform dog tricks.  In a June 3, 2004 press briefing, SOUTHCOM Commander General James Hill traced the source of techniques used on Khatani back to SERE, stating: “The staff at Guantanamo working with behavioral scientists, having gone up to our SERE school and developed a list of techniques which our lawyers decided and looked at, said were OK.”  General Hill said “we began to use a few of those techniques ... on this individual...”

So Khatani was a guinea pig - monitored by Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld among others, for what we later saw at Abu Ghraib. The road from Rumsfeld to Afghanistan and then Iraq is a clear one:

According to the Department of Defense (DoD) Inspector General (IG), at the beginning of the Iraq war, special mission unit forces in Iraq “used a January 2003 Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) which had been developed for operations in Afghanistan.” According to the DoD IG, the Afghanistan SOP had been:

[I]nfluenced by the counterresistance memorandum that the Secretary of Defense approved on December 2, 2002 and incorporated techniques designed for detainees who were identified as unlawful combatants.  Subsequent battlefield interrogation SOPs included techniques such as yelling, loud music, and light control, environmental manipulation, sleep deprivation/adjustment, stress positions, 20-hour interrogations, and controlled fear (muzzled dogs)...

Interrogation techniques used by the Special Mission Unit Task Force eventually made their way into Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued for all U.S. forces in Iraq.

So when the defense secretary authorizes and condones abuse and torture, it spreads. Who would have guessed? And a war which was supposed to be conducted under Geneva guidelines became the first war prosecuted by the US in which torture and abuse of prisoners was a central part of the policy. These people have yet to be held accountable by the Congress or the courts.