Torture is for countries ruled by desperate fools

by , under All categories, Enrique

This was posted in March 2008. One of the best pieces of news to come out of President-elect Barak Obama is that he will close down the Guantanamo detention center.

…As President George W. Bush’s administration attempts without luck to brush aside the colossal blunder in Iraq and how it poisoned and weakened the United States in its so-called war on terror, it’s pretty incredible that the US president recently vetoed a law that would have prohibited the use of “enhanced interrogation” methods like ”water boarding.”

Should it come to a surprise that many of these barbaric interrogation methods have their roots in many parts of the Third World thanks to the Central Intelligence Agency? In South America, the CIA carried out and supported political repression and the overthrow of elected civilian governments by military dictatorships.

It is also no secret that the Central Intelligence Agency trained security forces in the region in torture and interrogation techniques. There are striking and scary similarities today between what happened in Iraq and during Argentina’s so-called dirty war (1976-83), when some 30,000 people disappeared.

One of the torture methods that Argentinian security forces used was called el submarino, the submarine, an older version of water boarding. But despite having a different method, the aim of this form of torture is the same: to make the victim feel that he was drowning.

In some Argentinean detention centers, the water used in el submarino was filled with human excrement.

Inmates in Argentina were – like in Iraq and Afghanistan under U.S. custody – forced to wear hoods over their heads. In Argentina, a prisoner’s head was hooded so he couldn’t identify the torturer.

While times have changed and the enemy is far shrewder than what some Latin American countries faced during the cold war, there are scary similarities between the U.S.’ war against al-Qaeada and other Islamic fundamentalists and what happened in some Latin American countries.

After the military regime in Argentina steamrolled over left-wing guerrillas and other enemies of the junta, its excess and outlandish methods were so successful that it went beyond the junta’s wildest expectations. A dangerous sense of invincibility — like the Bush administration’s obsession with inconquerable military power – overtook Argentina’s military rulers.

It took, however, a colossal fiasco like going to war with Britain in 1982 over the Falkland Islands for the military to be humbled.

It’s naïve to believe the systemic torture carried out by U.S. military personnel in Iraq and elsewhere are isolated events. I’m certain that these interrogation techniques used by the U.S. military can be found in many handbooks at Langley, VA.

In sum, the methods employed by Argentina’s junta during its war against “terrorism” were so barbaric that it ended up converting the de facto government into a state that practiced terrorism.

The United States has fallen into the same trap.

  1. savannah

    the sad thing about all of this, sugar, is that any one who saidthese things BEFORE bush took us down this trail was branded as unpatriotic and/or a terrorist! we certainly aren’t innocent, but this administration has corrupted us more than any right minded person ever thought possible!

  2. Enrique

    Hi Savannah, you are so right. It’s really incredible how some succumb to the collective hysteria. It’s been seen over and over again throughout history. The common response after such things are revealed later on is: we didn’t know. Certainly, a lot of people know what the Bush administration is doing. Possibly matters would have been much worse if such things happened 20-30 years ago.
    I hope you are well.

  3. Enrique

    So, what would you want to “impose” on foreigners? Certainly there are laws and everyone must follow them irrespective of their background. The majority culture must respect the rights of the minorities. For one, they have a right to keep their identity. Why is this such a big issue? Do you go to your neighbors home and tell him how he should live?

    With respect to historical memory in Spain, I think it is a good matter that they try to resolve the atrocities of the past so they won’t be committed again.

  4. DeTant Blomhat

    Well why do they come to our house and tell us how to live? We have laws here and a society with our way of life based on those laws. So it is not up to them decide which of these laws to obey.

  5. Enrique

    Who is telling you how to live? All that they are telling you is to follow the law. Discrimination is a crime punishable by the law and we should speak out against it wherever and whenever it appears.

  6. DeTant Blomhat

    Foreigners who scream “racism” every time their own shortcomings cause them a problem is not a problem with discrimination. Real problems is what you should be talking about. Not someones hurt feelings when he is told what the rules are and he screams racism.

  7. DeTant Blomhat

    See now here is a recent example of real problems:

    “Hello to everyone! this morning I was feeling bit down because I can’t find not even one job in Helsinki, so desperatly I searched on the net and I found this forum where I hope i can share my feelings and hopefully receive some nice words from some new friends or some strenght to keep on going! My name is X, I’m 25 years old and I come from Italy. Almost 1 month ago I moved to Helsinki where I’m living permanently with my Finnish boyfriend. As many others I’m looking for a job and I don’t talk fluent Finnish.

    I know I must learn it as soon as possible but let me say that I don’t understand how it’s possibly so hard to get a very basic job even without the Finnish. I mean I hard that Finnish society is looking for new workers even from abroad because are needed but then once u are here even to be a cleaner you must have a fluent Finnish! I know is the mother tongue, but it’s also true that almost everyone in here talks english very well. Anyway I especially angry with the recruitment agencies! none of them offered any job, it felt I was bordering the assistents when i went to ask for jobs.

    I don’t talk fluent finnish but I have already studied so I’ve some basics, but still isn’t enough even to clean dishes! I mean If they need workers how can they aspect them to talk fluent Finnish which is one of the most difficult language in the world! it takes years! then in the other hand I hard from a lot of foreigns who don’t speak at all Finnish working as waiter/waitress, cleaner, wash disher etc etc……

    So, I wondering what am I doing wrong? or if I’m contacting the wrong recruitment agencies because as I said I know some basic Finnish but by now the only answers I got from the angecies are they need a fluent language skills!!

    Sorry for this “outburst” 🙂 Maybe I said silly things but It’s just that I’m very kicking to start to work hard and it’s frustrating to see that nobodies wants to give me the chance to. A society which is in a way “wasting” a lot of work power coming from the foreign as me who moved here very willing and motived to work and learn and increase = increase also the proficts of the companies. That’s my opinio, which could be totally wrong..”

    See now – locate the “real problem” and discuss the “real problem” and don’t whine about some imaginary “discrimination”.

  8. paddy

    Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward’s account in his book Veil: The Secret Wars of the CIA, 1981-1987. Little is known beyond the bare facts, thanks to rigorous adherence to the doctrine that we do not investigate our own crimes (unless they become too prominent to suppress, and the inquiry can be limited to some low-level “bad apples” who were naturally “out of control”).

    Here we are now with hope, and just look what the cat dragged in for secretary of state the wife of former President Bill Clinton who was a fresh new hopeful at the time of his election: “….. when Bill Clinton ordered the bombing of the al-Shifa plant, it was obvious that it would lead to a humanitarian catastrophe. Human Rights Watch immediately informed him of this, providing details; nevertheless, he and his advisers did not intend to kill specific people among those who would inevitably die when half the pharmaceutical supplies were destroyed in a poor African country that could not replenish them.
    Rather, they and their apologists regarded Africans much as we do the ants we crush while walking down a street. We are aware that it is likely to happen (if we bother to think about it), but we do not intend to kill them because they are not worthy of such consideration. Needless to say, comparable attacks by Araboushim in areas inhabited by human beings would be regarded rather differently.
    If, for a moment, we can adopt the perspective of the world, we might ask which criminals are wanted the world over.”