Friday, June 30, 2006

Torture school

The US Supreme Court has found that the Bush administration does not have the authority to try terrorism suspects by military tribunal. Shining Light in Dark Corners has a selection of graphs from various news agencies. Reactions from Bloggers Against Torture: Robbie in San Diego, The Osterley Times, Pundit's Blog, Existentialist Cowboy, BlackWhite.

Salon reports on a document released under the FoIA, which prove that Guantánamo interrogators were taught by instructors from a military school that trains U.S. soldiers how to resist torture.

A March 22, 2005, sworn statement by the former chief of the Interrogation Control Element at Guantánamo said instructors from SERE also taught their methods to interrogators of the prisoners in Cuba.

"When I arrived at GTMO," reads the statement, "my predecessor arranged for SERE instructors to teach their techniques to the interrogators at GTMO ... The instructors did give some briefings to the Joint Interrogation Group interrogators."

This document is further evidence of the systematic nature of torture in the war on terror.

The article mentions some of the methods used at SERE, many of which are familiar from Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. They include forced nudity, stress positions, isolation, sleep deprivation, sexual humiliation, exhaustion from exercise, temperature control, exposure to loud music, and "lap dances".

Consider the descriptions given by an anonymous Army Ranger who completed the SERE course:

  • Interrogators desecrated an American flag, stepped on a copy of the Constitution, and "kicked the Bible around," the Ranger said
  • Stress positions ... are often employed at SERE school. Soldiers are forced into a squatting position with both palms facing up, or an excruciating half crouch with arms extended out straight, called the Iron Man. After a while, "Your legs go numb. Your knees go numb. Your feet tingle," the Ranger said. "It feels like fire. Eventually, you can't hold yourself up."
  • They are kept awake for days, moved about with bags on their heads, stripped naked and interrogated using techniques to provoke humiliation and shame.
  • Instructors at the SERE school pour water over the hooded prisoners, creating the sensation of suffocation.
  • [They get] physical training -- exercise -- to wear them out (c.f. detainee Abu Malik Kenami, for whom physically exhausting exercises were suspected as his cause of death).
  • Without access to a bathroom, prisoners urinate and defecate in their clothes.

An Army spokesperson officially denied that such training takes place.


Blogger Dr. Strangelove said...

My post on Bush's crumbling Unitary Executive justifications for torture and indefinite detentions is up. And I have a special image up for fans of boxing :)

12:10 AM  
Blogger Rurikid said...

On my vlog, I have already posted a dozen video posts about torture, a couple of which were posted before June. You can see the list, and access them from, here. I will be posting one or two more today, but this doesn't mean I won't be posting any more after June, since I am by nature against torture. This is why I suggest that the anti-torture blogroll and action should be permanent.

Regards to all,

Rurikid (aka Vierotchka)

4:16 AM  
Blogger De said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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12:26 AM  

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