The Torture Report: What can happen when a Democracy behaves like a Dictatorship

O'Sullivan Bere

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The problem with a privatized prison service is that someone's bottom line depends on incarceration. it is in that person's interest to lobby against alternatives to incarceration. There are towns in rural US that depend almost entirely on a prison staffed by locals and populated by black people from a far away city. Not going to end well.
That's correct, compounded by local cigar room corruption in local politics as Kids for Cash exhibited. Another problem is that they're done by profit driven firms, including those with European and other foreign connections that adds another corrosive element to the politics of it, e..g.,

G4S Secure Solutions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That invites performing prison services on the cheap with higher charges per prisoner. There's also undue international influence in domestic politics in this arena. They use subsidiaries technically 'American' to do so. That's all bad news IMO.
 


Q-Tours

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Not to mention the fact that the same 13th Amendment to the US constitution that abolished slavery left open its use ("slavery or involuntary servitude") as a punishment for crime. This rather large loophole was widely used after the US Civil War as a means of replacing lost [non-penal] slave labour: the black population was subjected to a variety of measures (I hesitate to call them "laws") that left their freedom essentially at the whim of notoriously corrupt state police and judges. The notorious chain gangs of cinematic lore were used as much for private enterprise as for state works.

Even since the reforms of the 1960s, and particularly since the 1980s, the trend has been towards treating coerced prison labour as a valuable commercial commodity. It's one of the driving factors behind the ridiculous and immoral 'War on Drugs'.
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Dick Cheney knew about the torture.

What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Cheney said in a telephone interview with the New York Times on Monday. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized.”

Why Dick Cheney Is Really Freaking Out About The New Torture Report | ThinkProgress
Of course he did. He even endorsed torture on the telly. IMO America gets lots of things right but not when it put their trust in him. Given his private and public record, I'd love to see him in a foreign prison where he's committed crimes and the Hague along with Henry Kissinger but I doubt they'll be travelling much if at all knowing the same.
 

O'Sullivan Bere

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Not to mention the fact that the same 13th Amendment to the US constitution that abolished slavery left open its use ("slavery or involuntary servitude") as a punishment for crime. This rather large loophole was widely used after the US Civil War as a means of replacing lost [non-penal] slave labour: the black population was subjected to a variety of measures (I hesitate to call them "laws") that left their freedom essentially at the whim of notoriously corrupt state police and judges. The notorious chain gangs of cinematic lore were used as much for private enterprise as for state works.

Even since the reforms of the 1960s, and particularly since the 1980s, the trend has been towards treating coerced prison labour as a valuable commercial commodity. It's one of the driving factors behind the ridiculous and immoral 'War on Drugs'.
There's some of that with prison labour but the old chain gang style is virtually gone.

IMO, the real motivations behind the 'war on drugs' are other forms of profit. That's especially so with cannabis. Beer and liquor companies oppose making even cannabis legal, as does Big Pharma that sells opium based and other narcotic pills like candy these days via 'Dr Feelgoods'. Law enforcement and the public and private prison industry makes a fortune from it, and often in rural and/or economically depressed areas that are dependent on that industry. Drug treatment facilities and personnel also cater to court ordered rehab in criminal cases.
 

owedtojoy

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There's some of that with prison labour but the old chain gang style is virtually gone.

IMO, the real motivations behind the 'war on drugs' are other forms of profit. That's especially so with cannabis. Beer and liquor companies oppose making even cannabis legal, as does Big Pharma that sells opium based and other narcotic pills like candy these days via 'Dr Feelgoods'. Law enforcement and the public and private prison industry makes a fortune from it, and often in rural and/or economically depressed areas that are dependent on that industry. Drug treatment facilities and personnel also cater to court ordered rehab in criminal cases.
Again, as with decline in incarceration rates, law-makers must sit up and note what is happening in Colorado and Washington (the state):

Washington’s long path from marijuana legalization to implementation

It looks like one of those swift changes to public opinion is happening in the US - like what happened on gay marriage. It is what makes me retain what faith I have in the US - once public opinion shifts decisively, as it did on Civil Rights, the elites find they have to follow, not lead. That happens much more rarely in authoritarian states, and only when there is a revolution, or when the current Great Leader dies.

However, the Republican Congress is actually trying to prevent pot legalisation in DC. D.C. pot fight puts GOP in an awkward spot - Manu Raju and Jonathan Topaz - POLITICO
 

Mr Aphorisms

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I will take you seriously, and not just as a bad joke, when he you exhibit some rational balance.

USA is not the best democracy in the world, but I would bet it is still better than your raves. North Korea, perhaps?
Is that it? Coward, cowardly scumbag.

Did you tell everyone on here how under Bill Clinton, Michael Scheuer created the rendition program and Clinton sent men to be tortured by Assad for example, but was too cowardly to do it in his own back yard, fearing upsetting latte sippers like yourself?

You're an imperialist and a white liberal racist. A very dangerous individual. A Bill Maher type loon.
 

CarnivalOfAction

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Dick Cheney knew about the torture.

What I keep hearing out there is they portray this as a rogue operation, and the agency was way out of bounds and then they lied about it,” Cheney said in a telephone interview with the New York Times on Monday. “I think that’s all a bunch of hooey. The program was authorized.”

Why Dick Cheney Is Really Freaking Out About The New Torture Report | ThinkProgress
So did our FF/PD & FG/LP governments:

Government must investigate Ireland's role in CIA torture | Irish Examiner

"Given the overwhelming evidence that CIA planes involved in renditions (i.e. kidnapping and torture) passed through Shannon Airport, surely it is time for the Irish Government to admit that mistakes were also made here, and to initiate a full investigation of Ireland’s involvement in CIA torture."
 

He3

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So did our FF/PD & FG/LP governments:

Government must investigate Ireland's role in CIA torture | Irish Examiner

"Given the overwhelming evidence that CIA planes involved in renditions (i.e. kidnapping and torture) passed through Shannon Airport, surely it is time for the Irish Government to admit that mistakes were also made here, and to initiate a full investigation of Ireland’s involvement in CIA torture."
Listen.

You can hear the enduring silence from Government Buildings.

Shameful.
 

Ren84

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A DAMNING US Senate Intelligence Committee report released last week has pinpointed several instances in which detainees at CIA ‘black sites’ around the world were forced to endure indescribable acts of torture, including being forced into shopping on Christmas Eve.

“Suspected terror chiefs were airlifted to cities around the world and given money and a shopping list, before being told that an air strike would be carried out on their home towns if everything wasn’t purchased before the day was out”.

The shopping lists given to detainees required them to purchase both gifts and groceries, and in many instances required going to more than one shopping centre.

“We gave these poor bastards a car, and told them they had to drive from mall to mall” said Crosby, shaking his head and weeping.

“They asked us, ‘Where will we park?’… we just told them they’d better find somewhere or else we’d bomb their village into the ground. We made it as hard for them as we could; we didn’t give them change for shopping trolleys, we made sure the shopping lists included presents for teenage daughters as well as grandparents… by the time they got back to Guantanemo Bay, these poor guys gave up every piece of Intel they had”.

Crosby refused to be drawn on allegations that several detainees were killed during the Christmas Eve interrogations, as files code-named “Last Minute Off Licence Run” are still classified.
CIA Torture Files Show Detainees Were Forced To Go Shopping On Christmas Eve | Waterford Whispers News

:cool:
 

middleground

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Boris Johnson quietly drops inquiry into UK involvement in torture and rendition:

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/28/the-guardian-view-on-rendition-and-torture-a-shame-that-britain-cannot-erase

A new prime minister, from the same party as his predecessors, cannot exactly wipe the slate clean. But the transition does at least allow the government to take out some of the more odiferous trash, as the flurry of statements and releases in the days before Theresa May’s departure and Boris Johnson’s arrival indicated.

One of the most serious of these was barely noticed in the general bustle. It marks a betrayal of a pledge to investigate UK complicity in rendition and torture that was made, not from an abstract commitment to evaluate Britain’s role in post-9/11 counter-terrorism operations, but from an understanding that a failure to face up to it – and prevent a repetition – would ultimately damage British interests.

“The longer these questions remain unanswered, the bigger will grow the stain on our reputation as a country that believes in freedom, fairness and human rights,” said Britain’s then prime minister.
 

owedtojoy

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We might remind ourselves that Trump campaigned in 2016 to revive torture, and the killing of "terrorists'" families.

He later said that General Mattis, his first Secretary of Defense, convinced him that torture was counter-productive.

Now that Mattis is gone, we can only wonder if these practices have been revived. Given the events on the Southern border, it would not be surprising.
 

Clanrickard

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We might remind ourselves that Trump campaigned in 2016 to revive torture, and the killing of "terrorists'" families. He later said that General Mattis, his first Secretary of Defense, convinced him that torture was counter-productive. Now that Mattis is gone, we can only wonder if these practices have been revived. Given the events on the Southern border, it would not be surprising.
We might remind ourselves that Trump campaigned in 2016 to revive torture, and the killing of "terrorists'" families. He later said that General Mattis, his first Secretary of Defense, convinced him that torture was counter-productive. Now that Mattis is gone, we can only wonder if these practices have been revived. Given the events on the Southern border, it would not be surprising.
We might remind ourselves that Trump campaigned in 2016 to revive torture, and the killing of "terrorists'" families. He later said that General Mattis, his first Secretary of Defense, convinced him that torture was counter-productive. Now that Mattis is gone, we can only wonder if these practices have been revived. Given the events on the Southern border, it would not be surprising.
So illegal immigrants are detained and this means torture is back.
 

owedtojoy

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So illegal immigrants are detained and this means torture is back.
"Detained" covers a multitude.

Removing small children from their parents, and housing them in primitive conditions certainly amounts to "enhanced punitive techniques", and maybe torture.

gettyimages-1133250432.jpg


Adults and children have been held for days, weeks, or even months in cramped cells, sometimes with no access to soap, toothpaste, or places to wash their hands or shower. Some reports have emerged of children sleeping on concrete floors; others of adults having to stand for days due to lack of space. A May report from the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found 900 people crammed into a space designed to accommodate 125 at most.
 

toughbutfair

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I’ve no moral objection to torture but are there studies that show if it is useful? If you put somebody in enough pain they’ll tell you what you want to hear to stop the pain. However, the risk is that the information isn’t accurate. That’s a real dilemma to which I have no answer.
 

owedtojoy

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I’ve no moral objection to torture but are there studies that show if it is useful? If you put somebody in enough pain they’ll tell you what you want to hear to stop the pain. However, the risk is that the information isn’t accurate. That’s a real dilemma to which I have no answer.
I believe the data & history shows torture to be useless. Read any narrative of Stalin's purges.

A tortured person will tell you anything you want to hear in order to stop the pain you are inflicting.

No sane person would trust intelligence gathered by torture.
 

Pyewacket

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I believe the data & history shows torture to be useless. Read any narrative of Stalin's purges.

A tortured person will tell you anything you want to hear in order to stop the pain you are inflicting.

No sane person would trust intelligence gathered by torture.
Torture has never been about getting real, valid information.

It is about frightening the bejaysus out of the population you seek to dominate.
 


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