The Electric Commentary

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

(Censored) Water Torture

Let's say that you're ordered to torture people at Gitmo. How would you know what techniques to use? Is there some course you could take? Some manual? Well...

The military trainers who came to Guantánamo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of “coercive management techniques” for possible use on prisoners, including “sleep deprivation,” “prolonged constraint,” and “exposure.”

Great! Problem solved. I can't help wondering though, where did these trainers get their materials?

What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.

The recycled chart is the latest and most vivid evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and by the Central Intelligence Agency.


But surely, we made some changes, right? I mean, maybe we made these techniques more humane, or at least more effective in obtaining accurate information?

The only change made in the chart presented at Guantánamo was to drop its original title: “Communist Coercive Methods for Eliciting Individual Compliance.”

So, in addition to torturing people with techniques perfected by Chinese Communists over 50 years ago, we're also stealing their intellectual property. Awesome. That unfettered executive power is working out great.


  • What do you expect from an administration headed by a man who most likely relied on copying papers to get him through his post-secondary education?

    By Anonymous Scott H, at 10:39 PM  

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