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Torture Produces Whatever You Want It To

Ruth's picture

Great, we have a confession! David Hicks did whatever you want him to have done. What is it that the sadists wanted? Why, of course, he was a fighter in the 'war on terra'. Proving that... the sadists want to show that torture is justified. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed confessed to reams of things, too.

The confessions we are getting from Guantanamo are pretty pitiful. The sadists are getting just the results they are interested in. They are proving... that torture can justify more torture.

József Cardinal Mindszenty — the stimulus for America’s early fascination with mind control — was released from prison in December 1956 and was allowed to take up residence in the US Embassy in Budapest to serve out his sentence. Mindszenty later told reporters that he was kept awake for 29 nights to force his confession. He called it ‘unspeakable brutality.’

Associated Press reporter William Oatis and American businessman Robert Vogeler also admitted to imagined crimes after days without sleep. One of the best descriptions of the effects of this torture comes not from these men, but from former Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin. In the 1930s, Begin was also imprisoned by the Soviets and kept awake for days. According to Begin:

In the head of the interrogated prisoner a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep, to sleep just a little, not to get up, to lie, to rest, to forget … Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger or thirst are comparable with it … I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them. He did not promise them their liberty. He promised them — if they signed — uninterrupted sleep!
As of November 2006, Australia’s David Hicks is still detained at Guantánamo Bay. In July 2006, his civilian lawyer, David McLeod, said Hicks was ‘very, very depressed.’ McLeod added:

He has to lie on the floor, the air conditioning is kept on full, he has very few clothes, and he shivers … All his letters and cards have been taken away from him and he’s not receiving any. He has no contact at all with the outside world.

Moazzam Begg, a former detainee who spoke with Hicks, recounted his poor mental state:

One of the things he said to me is, ‘Please, when you get out from here, please tell people that my sanity is at risk here.’ He used to tell me quite often that he felt like just banging his head so hard against the walls that he just ends up killing himself.

Mamdouh Habib told me that ‘there’s no way you’re gonna come out of Camp Five normal.’ Habib has sought treatment to deal with the psychological after-effects of the torture he endured. After several meetings with Habib, I was convinced that he still had a long way to go. While he looked down at his scarred right hand, he told me something I cannot soon forget.

‘I am here,’ he said, ‘but I am still not free.’

These are criminals. No, not the ones inside the cells. The ones who are using hideously inhumane and unacceptable methods to get the detainees to say that their methods are working. Anyone with any sense of decency would realize that torture is not a practice the world can use without destroying itself.

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