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A bit of Torture anyone? Oh, well...

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  • A bit of Torture anyone? Oh, well...

    We asked our parents and grandparents if they knew, what they knew and what they did about it... We in Germany did, many of us wanted to know. The answers were often not overly convincing. But you realised that (if they weren't actual perpetrators) that they had closed their eyes out of fear (and the Gestapo was keeping close tabs on the people), they had also closed their eyes and hearts out of snugness, surely, and not too few, being "patriots" trusted that whatever the Nazis did was right. Not that many admitted to this when we asked .

    Now the C.IA interrogation report is out. Which is good. No-one seems really surprised by the findings, though. One can't fully compare a country that makes such reports possible with the Nazi regime, only to its claims of Justice and Freedom.
    But is anyone surprised that the confidence in what the US used to stand for crumbles more and more.?
    And how could this happen?
    Last edited by L'Etranger; 12-10-2014, 01:49 AM.
    Google ergo sum


  • #2
    Mulling it over, I think the worst part is the lack of surprise.

    That's a declaration of "we know but don't feel motivated to stop it" (a.k.a. complicity) or "we know but can't stop it" (a.k.a. the death of democracy - assuming it was ever alive).

    Sad days.

    Comment


    • #3
      It is mind boggling and deeply depressing that this torture is carried out in the name of a supposedly civilised society - and I include the UK in this as Blair’s government were complicit in its execution.

      http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2014/dec/09/cia-torture-report-worst-findings-waterboard-rectal

      Western governments are fighting a war against an army of religiously motivated bigots who slaughter innocent people, publicly behead journalists and aid workers and suppress the freedoms of women and children in their quest for power. And yet those same governments are equally savage in their own use of torture and humiliation to achieve their own ends.

      The cause of righteousness is bollocks on both sides of the argument.

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      • #4
        Steve Bell's cartoon from today's Grauniad

        Comment


        • #5
          I remember so many of the TV shows were depicting torture and debating the ethics of torture. There was open debate over whether we were an 'empire'. Dark times. A lot of the problems we're having, I think, are because we're only now processing the damage we did to ourselves and the world.

          I think we're all culpable to some degree, but to say that no one spoke out is simply not true. We stood in our 'free speech zones' and shouted. The fact is that there is one political party in the US that hatched torture policies, appointed the officials who presided over the torture, who knew about it an approved of it from top to bottom, who marched in lockstep behind a president who believed torture was an effective means to wage war and publicly said so, and who have done all they can to oppose investigation and cover up what they did. And they just won a majority in the Senate because people won't even go out and vote. That's our culpability, ultimately.
          Last edited by opaloka; 12-10-2014, 05:21 AM.

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          • #6
            So Saturday I accepted a major Human Rights Film Award for a documentary on the camps in North Korea. I thanked the jury and added I so wish this award was unnecessary. As long as it keeps being awarded it means there's something wrong in our world.

            And now the CIA report is on the table.
            Last edited by L'Etranger; 12-10-2014, 10:41 AM.
            Google ergo sum

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Rothgo View Post
              Mulling it over, I think the worst part is the lack of surprise.

              That's a declaration of "we know but don't feel motivated to stop it" (a.k.a. complicity) or "we know but can't stop it" (a.k.a. the death of democracy - assuming it was ever alive).

              Sad days.
              It's worse than that, Rothgo. There's a significant amount of sentiment even in NYC--which is far from the most conservative parts of the US--that (1) what the report documents isn't torture, (2) even if it was torture, we needed to do what we did, and (3) we need to do more of it to get those terrorist bastards who knocked the World Trade Center down because they're out to do worse every waking minute. I've been hearing this sort of opinion all day long on the radio, on TV, in the office, in the subways…I fully expect that in the near future our government will engage in, or foster (through private contractors or other governments) even worse practices and boast about it afterwards.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by L'Etranger View Post
                So Saturday I accepted a major Human Rights Film Award for a documentary on the camps in North Korea. I thanked the jury and added I so wish this award was unnecessary. As long as it keeps being awarded it means there's something wrong in our world.

                And now the CIA report is on the table.
                Wow, congratulations! What documentary, L'E? Is it available on the net or here in the US?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Guzzlecrank, as it is not my intention to promote our film here and possibly derail the thread, I'll send you a pm about it. Thanks.
                  Google ergo sum

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Guzzlecrank View Post
                    ... It's worse than that, Rothgo. There's a significant amount of sentiment even in NYC--which is far from the most conservative parts of the US--that (1) what the report documents isn't torture, (2) even if it was torture, we needed to do what we did, and (3) we need to do more of it to get those terrorist bastards who knocked the World Trade Center down because they're out to do worse every waking minute. I've been hearing this sort of opinion all day long on the radio, on TV, in the office, in the subways...
                    I'd take that in the complicity camp: with the added horror of "willing".

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                    • #11
                      This gets more like Homeland every day.

                      http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-30427211

                      Senator Lockhart even looks like Dick Cheney.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        I keep expecting them to say, absolutely seriously, "A little bit of torture never hurt anybody!"

                        It's just the sort of thought one gets to expect from people so seriously reality-challenged.
                        sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

                        Gold is the power of a man with a man
                        And incense the power of man with God
                        But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
                        And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

                        Nativity,
                        by Peter Cape

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          To riff on Rothgo's initial comment, for myself the worst part is the lack of surprise combined with how the story details only seem to get worse.

                          That and maybe the first as tragedy, next as farce and tragedy both, aspect -- as it's like a twisted echo of the Church Committee's findings, and resistance to them, of the 1970s.
                          Last edited by Heresiologist; 12-13-2014, 01:04 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            One thing that gets me, L'Etranger, about the situation in the Weimar Republic and afterwards in the Dritte Reich, was that there was this everpresent feeling that the Communists were out to get Germany ...

                            Then the Nazi Party linked the Communists to Jews in the conspiracy theory to end civilization, and launched a War Against Terror amongst other wars.

                            Similarities to the present day? Nah, coudn't be. We're a democratic society, we proclaim it so loudly we even persuaded the various Socialist Democratic Peoples Republics of the world, and even ourselves. We couldn't be that gullible!
                            sigpic Myself as Mephistopheles (Karen Koed's painting of me, 9 Nov 2008, U of Canterbury, CHCH, NZ)

                            Gold is the power of a man with a man
                            And incense the power of man with God
                            But myrrh is the bitter taste of death
                            And the sour-sweet smell of the upturned sod,

                            Nativity,
                            by Peter Cape

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              @ In_Loos_Ptokai:
                              Not too many similarities on the one hand. On the other hand people are people, and it seems easier to get them by painting scenarios on the wall they're afraid of ... and simple explanations. They are more easily mobilised if someone pretends to be addressing their fears. And in most simple terms, please, masses turn off their own brains.

                              To make matters worse for the Jews, especially in the Eastern European countries, many Jews had embraced early Communism, believing in the Red propaganda that they'd create a society where everyone would be equal. So after the fall the Iron curtain... as every 7 out of 10 Hungarians will tell you "Communism as a Jewish invention" ... And don't ask me what many Poles think of them...

                              The situation during the Weimar Republic is not really comparable to today, as Weimar was an instable, makeshift democracy build on the ashes of a terrible lost war that lasted merely 15 years, while the Federal Republic (albeit build on ruins of an even more terrible war) has much better foundations and is on the whole quite a success story (which makes the Brits nervous, unfortunately).

                              Communism isn't much of an issue at the moment. They're trying with xenophobia once again. Currently some groups are mobilising people "to protect the Christian West against Islam", because of the many refugees currently coming here. The ISIS thugs are very helpful as a horror scenario ... What the agitators don't tell these people is that a huge number of refugees from the Middle East (and Eritrea) are Christians themselves.
                              Anyway, I'll be going to a huge demonstration next Monday directed against these creeps.
                              Last edited by L'Etranger; 12-22-2014, 06:28 AM. Reason: typo
                              Google ergo sum

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