Monday, December 29, 2014

William Blum — American Exceptionalism and American Torture

 Lest we forget...
If you open the window of torture, even just a crack, the cold air of the Dark Ages will fill the whole room.
Cold air or stench?

No, Obama didn't end torture.

BTW, if you haven't seen Brazil (1985 film), it's as apropos as Orwell's 1984.

Victoria Bassetti, Brennan Center for Justice | Op-Ed
We need to reestablish that foundational, incontrovertible moral certainty we once had about torture. The Senate report was a bold and important step toward reestablishing that certitude. More is needed. 
There is a less known coda to the Milgram experiments. When dissent was added into the equation, when someone objected to the shocks being administered, the experiment participants’ willingness to inflict abuse diminished substantially. 
"The social psychology of this century reveals a major lesson: often it is not so much the kind of person a man is as the kind of situation in which he finds himself that determines how he will act," Milgram wrote after more than a decade’s work.
Washington's Blog
Senior U.S. Government Officials: Release the Full Torture Report
With permission from Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

MEMORANDUM FOR: Senator Mark Udall 
FROM: Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) 
SUBJECT: Stopping Torture 
We, the undersigned are veteran intelligence officers with a combined total of over 300 years of experience in intelligence work. We send you this open letter at what seems to be the last minute simply because we had been hoping we would not have to.…
For the Steering Group, Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS)
William Binney, former Technical Director, World Geopolitical & Military Analysis, NSA; co-founder, SIGINT Automation Research Center (ret.) 
Thomas Drake, Defense Intelligence Senior Executive Service, NSA (resigned) 
Daniel Ellsberg, former State Dept. & Defense Dept. Official (VIPS Associate) 
Mike Gravel, former Senator from Alaska; former Army intelligence officer 
Larry Johnson, CIA analyst & State Department/counterterrorism, (ret.) 
John Kiriakou, former CIA counterterrorism operations officer; federal prison, Loretto, Pennsylvania 
Edward Loomis, former Chief, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA 
David MacMichael, USMC & National Intelligence Council (ret.) 
Ray McGovern, Army Infantry/Intelligence officer & CIA presidential briefer (ret.) 
Elizabeth Murray, Deputy National Intelligence Officer for Middle East (ret.) 
Todd Pierce, MAJ, U.S. Army Judge Advocate (ret.) 
Coleen Rowley, Minneapolis Division Counsel & Special Agent, FBI (ret.) 
Peter Van Buren, Department of State, Foreign Service Officer (ret.) 
Kirk Wiebe, Senior Analyst, SIGINT Automation Research Center, NSA (ret.) 
Ann Wright, Col., US Army (ret); Foreign Service Officer (ret.)

No comments: