By Steven Jonas
Thomas Paine’s Corner
The US government use of torture is in the news once again, and as long as BushCheney are in power it will be, off and on. For they have made its use into US government policy. Of course, they describe whatever it is that is being done as “not torture.” They then go on to say that a) “we can’t give you any details because: a) it’s classified and b) anyone who spills the beans will be “aiding and abetting terrorism and terrorists” (as if such persons didn’t already know from first-hand experience with Georgite torture at the hands of either US torturers or those of allies such as Egypt). This is done, and was done in a picture-perfect version by the White House Press Secretary in response to the revelations of the current secret program of torture carried out after Bush said “we-don’t-torture,” because that’s what they want to have the discussion on: “what’s torture?”
They won’t reveal those secret Dept. of Justice memos (or at least hadn’t as of this writing) because, again, they’re classified and release would aid and abet and so on and so forth. So since the Regime won’t give us (much less the Congressional Intelligence and Armed Services Committees) the details, let us decide for ourselves and let’s find out what has been going on from a former torturer himself. According to Tim Shipman of the Sydney Morning Herald (that’s Sydney, Australia, folks; you wouldn’t expect to see an article like this one [see the link at the end of this column] in a US newspaper):
“A former US Army torturer has described the traumatic effects of American interrogation techniques in Iraq – on their victims and on the perpetrators themselves. Tony Lagouranis said he conducted mock executions, forced men and boys into agonizing stress positions, kept suspects awake for weeks on end, used dogs to terrify prisoners and subjected others to hypothermia. . . . Between January 2004 and January 2005, first at Abu Ghraib prison and then in Mosul, in northern Babil province, [Mr. Lagouranis] tortured suspects, most of whom he said were innocent. He realized he had entered a moral dungeon when he found himself reading a Holocaust memoir, hoping to pick up torture tips from the Nazis. . . . [He] said he never beat a prisoner. . . . [But, he said] ‘these coercive techniques – isolation, dogs, sleep deprivation, stress positions, hypothermia – crossed a legal line because they violated the Geneva Conventions.’ “He has written a book about his experiences entitled Fear up Harsh. The quoted article appeared originally in the British right-wing newspaper, The Telegraph.
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