From what a few in the right-wing blogosphere say, the torture tactics we employ are completely harmless. Or at the very least, they don’t inflict that much damage on those who are being interrogated.
Torture or harmless?
The techniques sought by the CIA are: induced hypothermia; forcing suspects to stand for prolonged periods; sleep deprivation; a technique called “the attention grab” where a suspect’s shirt is forcefully seized; the “attention slap” or open hand slapping that hurts but does not lead to physical damage; the “belly slap”; and sound and light manipulation.
I can tell you first hand that sleep deprivation and sound “manipulation” can lead to many, many sleepless nights. And personally, I’m talking about only three days of completely willing intermittent sleep deprivation courtesy of a sound system cranked to the max playing Cherry Bomb. I was a freshman in college after my first semester. You do the math.
Now, is that particular tactic inappropriate coercion for people who are trying to destroy our country? On first glance, not necessarily. But when you combine all of these tactics together, you can effect a person’s life in numerous inhumane ways. After all, you don’t have to cut somebody’s arm off or shove bamboo underneath their fingernails to destroy their life. As a nation, we tend to ignore the psychological and focus instead on the physical. And to that point, since many of our enemy combatants have been released since they were cleared of any involvement in the WoT, one can only imagine that their lives are forever altered by these procedures.
I guess my point is that I’m reading that some are saying that these tactics are no big deal. They liken them to television shows. They injure. They harm. Yes, the human mind can “bleed”, and as such it is one of the most potent grounds for torture.
And again, remember those who are not guilty. Remember those we can kidnap from any country, hold indefinitely, use these methods and then release when we determine they’re innocent.
In short, do remember that we are the beacon of freedom and remember how best to hold onto that distinction.