Pain and lye

Torture can be this clean: the semantic woolly work in the torture memos from the bush-ara

They are rather bizarre documents, which are now openly accessible on the homepage of the american civil liberties union – by order of the new president: the until then secret memos of the bush administration on the torture of prisoners "high value"-terrorists. The four memos provide detailed insight into the state of "clean" torture technology at the beginning of the 21st century. The chinese government’s strategy for the twenty-first century and its mix of methods. They show the technocratic euphemization of pain and the semantic whale work of the flexible cynics in the u.S. Department of justice during the time of george w. Bush and vice cheney.

Es geht in den papieren um die juristische rechtfertigung von foltermethoden. The recipient of the memos was john a. Rizzo, who graduated magna cum laude from george washington law school and serves as head of the "legal bureaus" the cia, the office of general counsel acted as a. Office advising the chief and staff of the agency in legal matters.

The senders of the justice department memos, jay bybee in 2002 and steven bradbury in 2005, each held the highest positions in the based "office of legal counsel", the office of legal counsel (olc) of the ministry of justice. From this office, the bush/cheney ruling couple derived crucial legal leverage, on the one hand concerning their institutional power position, and on the other hand, more importantly here, concerning the legal protection of executive borderline action.

It is bizarre and haunting how steven bradbury, in his 46-page paper, cheats his way around the concept of torture, clinging to the letter until there is nothing left of the term, the word empty enough for his president to mouth and proclaim without a guilty conscience: "the united states does not torture". Like george w. Bush did in about 2006, a year after this memo was intercepted. Although he admitted the existence of secret cia prisons for the first time in a speech, which was a bit of a surprise at the time, he immediately made it clear that only smart techniques were used to interrogate prisoners, not torture.

No. Not at all. It’s a tacit acknowledgement that we’re doing smart things to get information to protect the american people," the president said. "I’ve said to the people that we don’t torture, and we don’t.

The preparatory work for such smart orwellian renamings was provided by the staff of the "bureaus for legal advice", it is contained in the bradbury memo from 10. May 2005 to read exactly. The memo is a lawyer’s workshop report charged with taking the sting out of the pain and anguish caused by "13 verhor techniques" so that it is consistent with u.S. Law.

"Severe mental pain or suffering" is cited as a crucial definitional criterion in sections 2340ff of the u.S. Code. In 20 densely written pages, the author demonstrates from the "office of legal counsel", that from such "extreme" and " intensive" effects of the interrogation methods – even in the case of the notorious waterboarding (even if the u.S., according to the 2.World war ii japanese interrogators were legally prosecuted for such and other interrogation methods as appear in the memo, as reported by the new york times.

Fear of death and diapers for hygiene..

So clean can torture be in the age of universally claimed human rights: following principal deputy assistant attorney general bradbury gives the impression of extraordinarily proper treatment. Especially since it is intended for a high-value prisoner from the highest ranks of al-qaeda, who is to be prered into handing over vital information. Of the 13 methods, starting from manipulation of food – which does not taste good ("unappetizing") and the medical minimum requirement enough – over the naked standing around, being grabbed by the collar (attention grasp), the slap in the face, the stomach swing with the flat hand, being locked up in boxes the size of dogs’ hats, standing on the wall, the cold water shower and the sleep deprivation, up to waterboarding, none of them is really painful, bradbury states (cf. To it: "using these harsh methods, the cia interrogated").

Apart from waterboarding, which inevitably sends even militaristic roughnecks who have voluntarily exposed themselves to the situation into a panic because they can’t control the reflexive fear of death by drowning, the other methods certainly aren’t either light, as the memo implies. 180 hours without sleep, according to the established limit of the sleep deprivation method – that’s an ordeal that is in no way made good with an eight-hour sleep, as bradbury claims. Here the cynicism blob.

Not without reason, bradbury mentions a crucial point only very briefly: that the disresearchers do not apply one method after the other, but combine them. This became a less harmless picture after all: only river dough, without sleep, only lying down for a short time until their legs recovered, mostly standing against the wall, tied tightly, naked, with diapers (of course only for hygiene and "by no means for humiliation", as mentioned in the memo, an eloquent hypocrisy1) being changed, before the skin becomes sore, again and again the face is held by foreign hands, in between a slap in the face, a punch in the stomach, then one is briefly released and forced into a narrow room, then freezingly doused with cold water and finally waterboarding – "six times fear of death in two hours" – for days, probably weeks (the maximum duration, according to the report, is 30 days, after which a new expert opinion had to be requested) – this is certainly not as harmless as the memo expertise prescribes.

Thus, a cynical form of luge dominates the terms. Of course, all this hurts, there is no doubt about that, and what a strange exaltation it is to claim that with these methods no serious pain will be inflicted and there will be no long-lasting after-effects. Even if with such methods lives can be saved and they can be a brutal necessity in individual cases, to talk about them is a completely different thing, that makes them harmless, prints the inhibition threshold to use them also in other cases, perhaps even generally. One only has to remember that legal productions and instruments from the time of the war on terror to those men who, based on false amptions, were transferred to secret cia custody and thus subjected to "smart interrogation methods" to fear such memos.

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