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January 13, 2015



In love with torture

Banging people’s head and bodies against a wall again and again, keeping them without clothes most of the time, depriving them of sleep, force feeding them through their rectum and the practice of water-boarding them were among the techniques that the CIA merrily applied to inmates held in torture facilities around the world – from Guantanamo Bay, Afghanistan, Poland and Thailand to Romania – during Christian extremist US president George Bush’s era.
Though the 500-page report published by US Senate Intelligence Committee in December last year created uproar at home and abroad, the world already knew successive American, particularly Republican, governments’ infatuation with torturing real and supposed enemies of the US.
The post-World War II decades have seen American persistence on torturing people overseas as a key element of its strategic policies. Thousands died under torture and in so-called tiger cages while in US custody in Vietnam. US-backed dictatorship regimes had their personnel trained by the US in the business of torture. Savak, the secret police of former Shah of Iran and notorious for torturing people, was created by CIA. US training materials on torture were discovered in the CIA’s headquarters after the Iranian revolution; they included a manual on how to torture women.
Torture was an integral component of US-backed dirty wars in Central America during the 1980s. John Negroponte, the US ambassador to Honduras during that particular period was reportedly connected with Contra terrorism against Nicaragua and death squad murders in Honduras. With his credentials it was only logical that he was appointed as US ambassador to Iraq in 2004 during the US occupation of that country. James Steele, who served as the US advisor to the Iraqi security forces, was the highest rankling US military officer in El Salvador in 1985, the year in which the US-backed regime killed more than 1,500 civilians and tortured many thousands.

the decades of the cold war, post-cold war and the war on terror torture victims included people who were neither enemy combatants and terrorists nor collaborators or facilitators. Even President Bush and his top aides including vice president Dick Cheney and defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld knew that most detainees held at Guantanamo Bay in 2002 were innocent but believed it was ‘politically impossible’ to release them, as alleged in a document by Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson, former chief of staff to President Bush’s first secretary of state Colin Powell in a lawsuit filed by a former Guantanamo inmate and published by The Times in London.
Not only the CIA but even US army doctors have been involved in torture practices. In an article in the Lancet journal in August 2004 by Steven H Miles of the University of Minnesota it was charged that US army doctors working at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq helped design abusive interrogation methods and failed to report deaths caused by beatings.
Torture by the Bush administration is significant in the US’ glossary of torture because of its Christian extremist flavour. General William Boykin, the deputy undersecretary of defence for intelligence in the Bush administration, was at the core of a secret operation to ‘Gitmoize’ (US dialect for Guantanamo) the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. General Boykin regularly attended evangelical revivals preaching that the US was in a holy war as a Christian nation battling ‘Satan’.
In an international survey of public opinion carried out by Guardian in UK, Haaretz (Israel), La Presse and Toronto Star (Canada) and Reforma (Mexico) in November 2006 US President George Bush was ranked as the most dangerous leader in the world. But world opinion doesn’t bother Americans many of whom still find CIA torture to be a justified tool for America’s security.
Apparently, not only torture but torturers too are treated as valuable strategic assets by Americans. Afghanistan’s most feared security official Haji Gulalai, dubbed as ‘torturer in chief’, has now settled in a pink two-storey house in California, the Washington Post reported on April 29, 2014.
Nevertheless we Pakistanis have much greater torturers than the Americans who at the most tortured a few dozen or hundreds or thousands at a time by torture techniques. Our august torturers torture both mentally and physically around 180 million people by their corruption techniques. American torturers feed their victims through the rectum while Pakistani torturers have made it difficult for millions of Pakistanis to feed themselves. Some doctors in the US military helped their torturer comrades while in Pakistan hundreds of thousands of public servants work in tandem with the corruption torturers to make life hell for millions every day.
American people and their media have a soft spot for American torturers torturing foreign people. Pakistanis and their media have a soft spot for Pakistanis torturing Pakistanis en masse. Americans expressed remorse at torturing supposed terrorists. Pakistani torturers express no remorse even at children dying daily of hunger and disease. They celebrate.
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