Monday, July 23, 2007

McConnel Admits Psychological Torture

I watched Meet The Press yesterday and noticed something very telling in the answers given by Mike McConnel regarding the new standards for interrogation from the Bush Administration. Let me quote McConnel directly:
"[T]his is a program where we capture someone known to be a terrorist, we need information that they possess, and it has saved countless lives. Because, because they believe these techniques might involve torture and they don’t understand them, they tend to speak to us, talk to us in very—a very candid way."
McConnel spent most of the program vociferously denying that the U.S. tortures, yet he admits with the above quote that our interrogators rely upon the detainees believing that they will be tortured in order to get them to talk. Any definition of torture will include restrictions against making a person believe they will be tortured or killed. You do not have to actually cause physical pain to a person to torture them by nearly any definition in common usage of the word torture. So... there you have it. McConnel just admitted that America is psychologically torturing prisoners by making them believe they will be subject to physical torture.

In fact I believe McConnel began to unearth a truth of the basic nature of the program set forth by this administration from the early days of the so called war on terror. This administration wanted the Arab street to fear us. Beyond invading and occupying their lands, we embarked upon some hideous practices with the goal of putting fear into the Muslim world community. Thus it is that the American people are told in mantra like fashion that we do not torture, but the very examples of our evil doing with detainees are let loose in the Arab community to spread their own tales of what it means to fall into American hands. One of the objectives of torture is to terrorize the community from which the victims are taken in order to gain that communities compliance. McConnel seems on the cusp of admitting our complicity in just such a horrible mindset by saying that it is in our interest that the Arab world think we do torture captives.

This is exactly the wrong mindset which the side of freedom and goodness ought to portray to the world. There should be no doubt what so ever in any ones mind as to our record on human rights. We should hold ourselves to impeccable standards, and there should be no cause for concern that any one considering our record in this matter would question us. The notion that our leaders want some people to think we may torture them is really pathetic actually. How the mighty have fallen, and our leaders have set us on the path tread by the past monsters of history, indeed the very monsters of our own times which we once railed against for precisely the same actions which we now permit. It is well within many of our memories how our then leaders railed against the Soviets over their use of the very same gulags which we now use ourselves to disappear our captives!

And now we actually hear the leader of American intelligence services admit that he believes it is in our best interests that the people we capture to think they will be tortured. How wrong headed is that?! George Washington and the other great leaders of this nation must be twirling in their graves.

The believable threat of torture is in itself an unacceptable form of psychological torture, and now our leaders have tipped their hand. It doesn't matter now what kind of nuance or justification they have for the inquiries at this point. Now we know they want Muslims to think they will be tortured if we capture them, and that is all we really need to know, isn't it.

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