Here's another first-hand account of a student protester tortured by the Iranian regime after the last round of student uprisings ten years ago. What he describes is exactly what the United States did to prisoners under the Bush-Cheney torture regime:
The place was one of the semi-abandoned military camps outside Tehran that date back to the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. There we were shoved into metal freight containers the kind used for shipping. They stripped us naked and gave us two blankets each. Inside there was nothing to sleep on and no electric light. There was no way to tell the time except by the daylight when it shone through the watchman’s peephole at one end and a ventilation vent at the other.
This is more daylight and two more blankets than allowed the bulk of prisoners tortured under Bush and Cheney. But the cramming into windowless cages naked is classic neocon torture.
I was in the container with four other boys. We were all barely 20. And we were inside for two weeks -- naked, powerless, and face-to-face with the fear of being totally at the mercy of our captors... I was in the container with four other boys. Food was thrown in once a day. From time to time, we were taken out for questioning. And both those processes helped to destroy whatever shreds of our dignity remained.
The prisoners were beaten as part of their torture, something endemic in US captivity but formally restricted to mild forms under Cheney. There are other similarities:
The interrogations were conducted with a hood over my head. Looking down, I could see only the floor. Once I saw the hands of one of the interrogators after he cuffed my head. His hands were twice the size of mine. After two weeks, I was transferred to a succession of other prison cells, with no idea where I was. Sometimes, the cells were pitch dark. Sometimes, they had four brilliant light bulbs shining 24 hours a day.
A word to the neocons: you have no standing to protest the barbaric treatment of these prisoners any more. And you have made their torture more helpless, more powerful and more brutal than it would otherwise have been. As these protesters - the men and women hose tweets we were reading so recently - look toward America, as they try to see a beacon somewhere that would let them know that their torturers have no standing in the civilized world, they find one thing.
That beacon? Neoconservatism snuffed it out.
We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to firstname.lastname@example.org.