Here’s a prediction for war criminal and FNC oracle Dick Cheney: the next terrorist attack, even if not a false flag, will be blamed on the neocons. Maybe he can’t see that because he only surrounds himself with the sadists and bigots on FOX and Friends. Cheney says the next attack will be worse than 9-11, forgetting he had advance knowledge there too, and allowed it to happen. He actually believes Republicans will let him forget that.
As for his friends, FNC will, it’s rumored, eventually replace the “Friends” with more cost-effective Pirates of the Caribbean-style animatronics to boost the intelligence and basic cognition level of the hosts. It’s hoped this will curtail the ad lib bursts of staggering imbecility that’s become comedy gold for The Daily Show.
Most people easy to convince they committed a crime that never happened – study RT, January 18, 2015
Instant Terrorist: Just Add Water
It should also be noted that torture is mostly used for false confessions and in some cases, psychological conditioning, or trauma-based brainwashing the CIA was quite familiar with since the 1950s (see document at end of article). In the war against Iraq, now acknowledged universally as a war fought under false pretense, false confessions were essential to maintain the cover story. There is nothing better than torture to obtain such confessions. That is why it is a favored means of policing and suppression of political dissent in third world countries. The torture employed by the Bush administration’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” was not new. Water-boarding has medieval origins dating back to the Inquisition.
Classical Conditioning – Ivan Pavlov
Torture is a Pavlovian stimulus-response mechanism where subjects, knowing they will be water-boarded merely by the sound of footsteps approaching a cell door, become conditioned to say what the torturer wants them to say because their primary drive is to avoid pain, so they will lie if they have no intelligence to offer. In the Salem witchcraft trials, it’s why we had tortured “witches” claim they saw neighbors flying around on brooms and cavorting with the devil. That’s what the “investigators’ wanted to hear, and why we heard some very contradictory and impossible stories regarding the facts around 9-11 and Bin Laden. The aim was “terrorist confessions” and they got them. That’s why the CIA destroyed the interrogation tapes. In a court of law, those tapes would have been their most important evidence. However, because they involved torture, they would have been inadmissible, and proof of a wider conspiracy to justify the “War on Terror” on the basis of false confessions. The destruction of those interrogation tapes, however, only ensured no one could see any of those confessions as valid, anything less than a war crime, and a tacit admission of Cheney’s guilt. No agency would destroy evidence that exonerates it. To quote L. Ron Hubbard, in a disturbing Scientology brainwashing manual that parallels a CIA study on mind control:
The mechanisms of stimulus-response are easily understood. The body takes pictures of every action in the environment around an individual. When the environment includes brutality, terror, shock, and other such activities, the mental picture gained contains in itself all the ingredients of the environment. It the individual, himself, was injured during that moment, the injury, itself, will re-manifest when called upon to respond by an exterior command source.
As an example of this, if an individual is beaten, and is told during the entirety of the beating that he must obey certain officials, he will, in the future, feel the beginnings of the pain the moment he begins to disobey. The installed pain itself reacts as a policeman, for the experience of the individual demonstrates to him that he cannot combat, and will receive pain from, certain officials.
As Rob Jones writes at History of of Forensic Psychology:
One particular study, conducted by Kassin and Wrightsman in 1985 looked at the three different type of confessions they found associated with false declarations of guilt. They were voluntary, coerced or coerced-internalized.
- Voluntary– This type of confession is made without any pressure from the outside. The person willingly and knowingly confesses to a crime.
- Coerced– This type of confession is made only to escape an interrogation that the person may see as aversive, avoid harm, or to get a benefit that was promised
- Coerced-internalized– People who make the confession actually come to believe they have committed the crime (Kassin and Wrightsman, 1985)
Every single confession obtained from Bush and Cheney’s “enhanced interrogation techniques” falls into “Coerced” and “Coerced-internalized” false confession criteria. As such, the veracity of those confessions can all be challenged whether or not the victims were citizens. If confessions were not obtained through proven interrogation methods, it needs to be established why torture was chosen instead, and why anyone would wage a war based on interrogation methods that are not only notoriously unreliable, but war crimes.
Tortured suspects will lie and likely implicate more innocents, themselves and others, if only to escape more pain. To call those who practice torture interrogators maligns the latter by association, and is no part of their craft. Here’s what happens when torture, or “enhanced interrogation techniques,” are used to extract the “truth” from our soldiers, according to Richard P. Conti in the The Journal of Credibility Assessment and Witness Psychology:
Coerced-Compliant False Confessions
Coerced-compliant confessions occur when suspects confess, despite the knowledge of their innocence, due to extreme methods of police interrogations (Gudjonsson, 1991, 1992; Gudjonsson & MacKeith, 1990; Kassin, 1997; Kassin & Wrightsman, 1985; Wrightsman & Kassin, 1993). Numerous false-confessions that were elicited through the use of torture, threats, and promises were presumed to be of this type, as in the Salem witchcraft confessions in the 17th century (Kassin & Wrightsman, 1985; Wrightsman & Kassin, 1993). The best known classic example of a coerced-compliant false confession is the case of Brown v. Mississippi (1936).
“Brainwashing,” a technique commonly used on POWs falls under the category of coerced-compliant false confession. Almost forty years ago, during the Korean War, reports by the North Koreans stated that a number of captured American military men had confessed to a number of treasonable acts and expressions of disloyalty to the U. S. (Bem, 1966; Wrightsman & Kassin, 1993). Hunter (1960) examined the brainwashing methods used by the communists during the Korean War. The prisoners would attend communist in doctrination lectures, for a minimum of four hours, at least once per day. During these lectures, the prisoners would be forced to make a confession and express the communist point of view in his own words. The rationale behind forcing the prisoners to confess was to have it become second nature for them and become a part of their mentality. As Hunter (1960) points out:
Each time a U.N. soldier stood up and used the words “I confess,” his Red masters were confident that in the back of his mind a tiny trace at least of this intrinsic content of the world would filter down, even if only subconsciously. Each time he repeated it, they were certain a little more of this content was being rubbed onto his mentality. The communists actually heard him saying each time, in their double talk, “I submit,” getting himself accustomed to the thought. (p. 238)
Similar confessions were made by some of the American POWs in the Vietnam War. During the first week of the Persian Gulf War in 1991, American TV viewers saw the grim and swollen faces of captured American airmen, and as reported by Fleming and Scott (1991), “each of the pilots identified himself and delivered a short speech deploring their government’s involvement in Operation Desert Storm” (p. 127).
In short, the Bush administration was counting on the fact that they could get tortured prisoners to say anything.
Here is the interrogation protocol that should have been used and was refined over decades, because it works. It makes no mention of torture:
WAR IN THE GULF: P.O.W.’s; Iraqi Use of Captured Airmen: Old Tactics
By ELAINE SCIOLINO, Special to The New York Times Published: January 25, 1991
“Iraq’s parading of captured pilots in front of television cameras, their faces bruised and their statements apparently made under coercion, and its threat to use them as human shields is reminiscent of the Iraqi treatment of Iranian prisoners during the Iran-Iraq war.”
During the long border war, Iranian soldiers, including teen-agers, were routinely interviewed on Iraqi television, presented to foreign journalists and prodded into proclaiming the wisdom of Iraq’s President, Saddam Hussein, and the inhumanity of the Iranian Government. The Iraqis also paraded the soldiers through the streets of Baghdad and retrained them as soldiers to fight Iran.
In a film often shown to visitors during that conflict, Mr. Hussein appeared with 20 Iranian child-prisoners, lecturing them on the war effort as one of his daughters gave each of them a carnation.
“When the war ends,” he told them, “come back and enjoy our country’s hospitality.”
Mistreatment of P.O.W’s
“P.O.W.’s were used in precisely the same way during the war,” Shaul Bakhash, an Iranian historian and expert on the Iran-Iraq war, said of this week’s prisoner displays. “What we are seeing is vintage Saddam.”
The United Nations and the International Committee of the Red Cross documented widespread mistreament of Iranian P.O.W.’s in violation of the Geneva Conventions, including beatings, torture, deprivation of food and water, inadequate medical care and their use as propaganda tools. Although the Baghdad Government’s treatment of the Iranians improved over time, human-rights analysts are concerned that Iraq’s abuse of P.O.W.’s in the past will be repeated in the current war.
“The Iraqis’ handling of Iranian P.O.W.’s suggests that they will be entirely ruthless with the captured pilots and do whatever they think will promote their own interest, without any regard for the Geneva Conventions,” said David Korn, a retired Foreign Serivce officer and author of the Middle East Watch study, “Human Rights in Iraq.”
The Iraqis’ treatment of Iranian prisoners throughout the war received little attention in the West. American officials acknowledged that the abuses were largely ignored for two reasons: Iran was also brutalizing Iraqi prisoners of war and Iraq’s geopolitical and commercial importance vastly outweighed concern about human-rights abuses.
Geneva Convention Violations
But now, the television footage of the allied pilots has drawn international condemnation of Iraq for violating the Geneva Conventions and calls for Mr. Hussein and his aides to be tried for war crimes.
The allied pilots are not the only P.O.W.’s held in Iraq. Iran and Iraq still hold the other’s soldiers, despite the fact that the Iran-Iraq war ended in a cease-fire in the summer of 1988.
The fact that Iraq still holds Iranian P.O.W.’s suggests that Baghdad may try to use allied pilots as bargaining chips in an eventual settlement of the war.
“OK, it was torture. So let’s make torture sound neat!”
After 9-11, the New York Times refused to use the word torture when referring to interrogations, but they knew quite well what it meant, having written about Saddam Hussein doing the same thing to captured airmen in 1991. Then, however, they recognized torture as a violation of the Geneva Convention, and called for Hussein to be tried for war crimes. The New York Times, like all of the corporate media, bought into the argument that terrorists could not be considered POWs, and therefore had no rights to be respected. Hussein used the same argument to justify his tactics when torturing Americans, however, and if we believe Bush then we believe the statements made under coercion by our POWs were genuine confessions of love for Hussein and an honest outrage at our conduct in the war. Hussein, presumably, did them the service of simply beating the truth out of them, something for which they could be grateful. Even if the POWs vs. Terrorist gambit were anything but a delusional and obscene excuse for sadism and barbarity, it doesn’t explain how torture could bring reliable information or how it was strong enough to justify a war if the confessions were coerced.
The kind of people we are dealing with are simply on another planet. If you want to see what “affluenza” really is, in its most offensive form, look no further than the people in this audience. We’re talking about people that are so detached from any sense of reality, honor, or dignity that they can actually joke about not finding weapons of mass destruction, which was the entire premise for the war in Iraq. We’re dealing with a media mogul, Rupert Murdoch, who can go on Australian television, with a straight face, and argue that human activity doesn’t affect the environment. We are, in a very real and sobering sense, dealing with psychopaths. It isn’t just Bush or Cheney or Murdoch, either, it’s the “elites” in the audience who find this travesty so funny that are the greatest threat to America right now, as they have succumbed to an infectious psychopathy born of elitist privilege that was no different than the people, the power and money, behind Hitler.
This is self-evident. When Sen. Bernie Sanders asked Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen whether or not we lived in a democracy or oligarchy, that is, a small group of people having control of our country; what do you think she answered? Hint: she didn’t say democracy. Now, what is argued by the media to be a greater threat than ISIS, Russia, has oligarchs too. The problem is, their oligarchs didn’t spend their money buying away your vote and basic human rights, be it the right to drinking water, the Bill of Rights itself, or habeus corpus, and ours did. So which is the greater known and demonstrable threat to Americans? Russians may not be accountable to our rule of law, but neither is Wall Street. Which threat, then, demands immediate redress and has the possibility of success?
One look at this dinner and the first thing that came to mind is “Over one million Iraqis died for nothing, and over 100,000 US soldiers died in battle and PTSD-related suicides since that war began, and you find this funny? You know we’re filming this, right? I mean, seriously, you know that right?” If that latter number sounds high, remember when President Obama announced 22 vets kill themselves each day?
That’s 8,030 a year since 2001 and multiplied by 13 that’s 104,390. Now add in combat deaths and wounded: 57,614. Total is 162,004 casualties in this bat-shit crazy “War on Terror” that is no different than when Caligula ordered his legions to march to the beach and attack the god of the sea, Poseidon (launching spears into the ocean to kill a sea god is about as moronic as launching a military campaign against an emotion; fear).
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.