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March 12, 2010


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minstrel hussain boy

having been waterboarded in SERE training, which was a punk exercise that accomplished jack fucking shit, i can without reservation state that there simply is no such fucking thing as a "mild" form of it. twenty second limit? i don't know, i wasn't counting. it seemed like forever.

the thing that makes waterboarding so much fun for the sick, twisted cocksuckers who do it to others is that the responses are autonomic. when the mouth and nose are full of water and the flow of air is shut off the body responds with neurotransmitters which induce, against any feeble attempt at something like will or resolve and a person's whole being is slammed straight into absolute and total panic.

my sessions were way the fuck more than twice. me, and the other guys from my unit were going out of our way to piss off the pissants of the opfor. we were aggressivly refusing to "learn the lessons" of how to be good captives and try to not say shit that would make the brass uncomfortable.

my turn on the board only ended because i aspirated enough water (or saline) to make me start puking uncontrollably. while they were trying to keep me from aspirating puke somebody got careless and left one hand free. that hand found its way to the nutsack of the motherfucker who had been the pourer. hilarity ensued.

to this fucking day, if i were to meet any of the SERE instructors on the street sudden and ruthless violence would commence most ricky tick.

Sir Charles

This is sickening on a profound level. And the clinical detachment of the memo really is Nazi-like.

minstrel hussain boy

one of the things that strikes me, is the return of "the banality of evil" that was noticed by the allies after ww2.

many of the most henious of them, like eichmann, were eyeglass wearing little men who looked like they would be librarians or grocery clerks.

the supervillians almost never look the part.

all the best torturers from torquemada on kept carefull records of what worked and what didn't. they would go into great detail over which torture should be applied and for how long.

st. thomas more himself was a great burner and torturer of heretics. he sent pope clement details of a device he had designed for burning heretics. by treating the wooden pole with creosote to inhibit it burning, and by counterbalancing it on a fulcrum, the heretic for burning could be lowered in and out of the flames, prolonging the agony and, according to more, by the suffering of the lingering death, be given a better chance of being forgiven and, after a suitable time in purgatory, be allowed in the presence of the lord.

you see, the torturers always manage to convince themselves that they are "helping." by inflicting the grossest pains, they were really increasing the chances of the soul's forgiveness.

one of the things that absolutely sent patton into a rage when he was liberating a camp was finding that the nazis, even knowing that the war was lost, stepped up the slaughter's pace and were convinced that when the americans saw the good work that they were doing by keeping the world safe from jews and other "untermenschen," we would say "wow, you guys aren't that bad at all...we have this problem with colored people in our country..."

now here we are again. the evil among us are academics like yoo and bybee, although cheney does us the favor of looking like an evil son of a bitch, bush didn't. he looked like a goofy texas boy (by way of andover, yale, and harvard).


all the best torturers from torquemada on kept carefull records of what worked and what didn't. they would go into great detail over which torture should be applied and for how long.

Sully has observed that the instructions accompanying Rumsfeld's ("the Pentagon's") torture authorization includes a lot of detail about what is permitted and how (never using the word "torture", of course).

Sir Charles


A friend of mine wrote an honor's thesis about Eichmann entitled "I sat at my desk and did my work" which was an actual quote from Eichmann about his war time activities.


And of course the shameless continue to double down in their shamelessness.

Sen. Moynihan used to occasionally make disapproving public comments about "defining deviancy down" (with regards to popular culture). I can't even imagine what he would have thought of all this.......


Oddjob, do you have a link to the original memo (as opposed to Salon paraphrasing and quotes) ? Thanks.


Not off the top of my head. I'm recalling something I've read at Andrew Sullivan's blog, but he hasn't posted on that recently. I've been regularly reading his blog for years and I can recall him mentioning that there's rather a bit of detail in the authorization regarding things such as how many hours interrogators are permitted to force prisoners to stand for, how long they are permitted to put them in stress positions, etc., but this is recall. I'm certain there is at least one such post on Sully's blog in his archives (and I think more than one, frankly), but I can't recall how recently he's posted on that topic.

kathy a.

this stuff is horrifying. really horrifying.

and you know what else? it takes far less than torture "simulating" a death experience to coerce someone into falsely confessing, or giving false evidence. people who feel pressured enough will say anything to get out of the coercive situation. the "justification" of obtaining useful evidence is bogus.

kathy a.

MHB, there are no words at all to make up for what you went through. and that was just practice, eh? how can that possibly be right, good, ok? it just can't.

Ian Welsh

Wonder if it's still going on in Bagram. Who knows...



One would like to think otherwise, of course, but since no one except whiny liberals (& fussy traditionalists, which is where I would more accurately classify myself) - obviously not the mainline press - appears to give a shit about this...........

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