Tuesday, April 17, 2007

More on detainees, torture...

Quick list of articles for this week's 'toon, as I'm getting ready for a trip to San Francisco on Friday for Alternative Press Expo (more on that later).

If only for a diversion from CNN's increasingly bad coverage of the Virginia Tech shootings:
  • The cartoon was mostly brought on by reports that perpetual detainee and U.S. citizen Jose Padilla has been tortured to the point where he can no longer assist his attorneys in his defense. George Monbiot reports that "his mind is no longer there," and that he "appears to have been lobotomized: not medically, but socially." Monbiot also makes an excellent point that I've seen echoed elsewhere:
    This has nothing to do with obtaining information: torture of all kinds - physical or mental - produces the result that people will say anything to make it end. It is about power, and the thrilling discovery that in the right conditions one man's power over another is unlimited.
    Every other citizen of this country should be in absolute horror that our own government has done this.

  • A funny note on the Wikipedia entry for Padilla that I had never heard before, that Glenn Beck and other right-wing commentators subscribe to a conspiracy theory that Padilla was involved in the Oklahoma City bombing, based almost solely on the fact that Padilla sorta looks like a police sketch of an alleged associate of Timothy McVeigh.

    It occurs to me that Padilla also bears a striking resemblance to Detroit Tigers' catcher Ivan Rodriguez... last I heard, though, Beck et al. have not implicated Pudge in the Oklahoma City bombing.

  • Sidney Blumenthal gives a good summary of Bush's use of torture and his "Quest For Unfettered Power," and Scott Horton writes about the nationalization of "Texas Justice."

  • Check out a particularly interesting article by Stephen Soldz on the use of psychologists by the government to assist in interrogations of detainees, and the resulting split between the professions of psychiatry and psychology. He says that the activities at Guantanamo and other detention centers have effectively turned them into "intentional experimental facilities designed to develop and test new behavior manipulation techniques... designed to break people down, to destroy them, whether they are innocent or guilty, whether they have any intelligence value or not. "

No comments: