Monday, July 13, 2009


Marcy Wheeler appeared on MSNBC Monday to argue for an investigation of secret CIA operations under President Bush. Instead of concentrating on the content, the anchors focused on--and even apologized for--Wheeler's use of the word "blow job."

Have we all gone crazy? Obscenity may reside in the eye of the beholder, but as far as I'm concerned CIA torture and violence against unarmed prisoners ranks higher on the obscenity scale than a common term describing oral sex. Get real, America. Grow up!

According to ABC News, the CIA sources described a list of six "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques" that were practiced on prisoners. Bear in mind, this is what they will admit to, so actual practices are most likely far worse:

1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.

2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.

3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.

4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.

5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.

6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.

This is obscene.

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