Another glimpse into the American gulag, courtesy of the Red Cross - in this case the torture of Bin Attash, who had lost a leg in Afghanistan and was thus a very good candidate for the technique which was one of Stalin's and Rumsfeld's favorites - long-time standing - or a form of stress position the Nazi term for which is pfahlbinden:

After some time being held in this position my stump began to hurt so I removed my artificial leg to relieve the pain. Of course my good leg then began to ache and soon started to give way so that I was left hanging with all my weight on my wrists. I shouted for help but at first nobody came. Finally, after about one hour a guard came and my artificial leg was given back to me and I was again placed in the standing position with my hands above my head. After that the interrogators sometimes deliberately removed my artificial leg in order to add extra stress to the position....

By his account, Bin Attash was kept in this position for two weeks"apart [from] two or three times when I was allowed to lie down." Though "the methods used were specifically designed not to leave marks," the cuffs eventually "cut into my wrists and made wounds. When this happened the doctor would be called." At a second location, where Bin Attash was again stripped naked and placed "in a standing position with my arms above my head and fixed with handcuffs and a chain to a metal ring in the ceiling," a doctor examined his lower leg every day"using a tape measure for signs of swelling."

I do not remember for exactly how many days I was kept standing, but I think it was about ten days.... During the standing I was made to wear a diaper. However, on some occasions the diaper was not replaced and so I had to urinate and defecate over myself. I was washed down with cold water everyday.

Cold water was used on Bin Attash in combination with beatings and the use of a plastic collar...

Notice the familiar patterns seen at Gitmo and Abu Ghraib - where the Bush-Cheney techniques were revealed in full. There's stress positions, long-time standing, sleep deprivation, hypothermia, forced nudity - many of the techniques the US once prosecuted as war crimes when the Nazis did them. Notice also that doctors were very closely involved in torture, violating core Hippocratic oaths. Again, we knew this already. But all the details line up in coordinated fashion. When bureaucracies torture - when torture has become a routine part of sophisticated modern government - they regularize it, and bring many people into the process.

And again: the source of this is the International Committee for the Red Cross. I know that organization is now reviled on the Republican right; but that says a lot more about the GOP than the ICRC.

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