April 19, 2006

General Miller Indicted

These are the words that many uniformed members of the military hope to see as headlines soon.

Maj. Gen. Geoffrey Miller is the architect of the Guantanamo torture procedures. He transferred those methods to Iraq. According to Brig. Gen. Janis Karpinski, former commander of the U.S. Army's 800th Military Police Brigade in Iraq, "he made reference several times to his plans to "Gitmo-ize" the interrogation operations." Famous Signal City Interview

Why do other military officials want Miller punished? Because Miller has helped give those who might toruture US soldiers in the future a cloak of legitimacy, "Well, the US torutures, so it's OK for us to torture."

Those who don't believe the US is using torture probably have not studied the subject. When Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, heard the three methods of interrogation being used in Abu Ghraib, he knew it was a text-book case of torture.

He says, "by 2003, under General Miller, Guantanamo had perfected the C.I.A. paradigm, and it had a three-fold total assault on the human psyche: sensory receptors, self-inflicted pain, cultural sensitivity, and individual fears and phobia."

The self-inflicted pain often includes "stress positions." Some people think being forced to stand for long periods is not part of a torture regime. Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld is one of them. In a note on a 2002 memo about interrogation tactics, Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld indicated that making terrorism detainees stand for up to four hours was no biggie in the physical stress department. "I stand for 8-10 hours a day," Rummy scrawled. "Why is standing limited to four hours?" W Post article

So, what's the big deal about making people stand for long periods? According to McCoy, an expert on torture, "as they stand, what happens is the fluids flow down to the legs, the legs swell, lesions form, they erupt, they suppurate, hallucinations start, the kidneys shut down." Nice, self-inflicted pain.

What about sensory deprivation?

McCoy says, "Dr. Donald O. Hebb of McGill University, a brilliant psychologist, had a contract from the Canadian Defense Research Board, which was a partner with the C.I.A. in this research, and he found that he could induce a state of psychosis in an individual within 48 hours. It didn't take electroshock, truth serum, beating or pain. All he did was had student volunteers sit in a cubicle with goggles, gloves and headphones, earmuffs, so that they were cut off from their senses, and within 48 hours, denied sensory stimulation, they would suffer, first hallucinations, then ultimately breakdown."

Many people who have suffered torture say the mental torture is worse than the physical torture. This is, in part, because the mental damage is often irreversible.

The US is now using torture. Our reputation has been seriously damaged. General Miller must be indicted so our reputation can be cleansed.

See McCoy Interview on DemocracyNow!

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