America and torture

Henry Porter talks about America's own concentration camp at Guantanamo and the use of torture by the CIA and other agencies to extract information from suspects. Of course, the American officials involved don't actually participate in the really intense "wet stuff" - that would be barbaric (although reports of torture are coming out of Afghanistan and Iraq). It's much more humane to ship them off to countries where torture is a "fact of life":
By far the most disturbing development is the American practice of handing over recalcitrant prisoners to be tortured by compliant regimes in Jordan, Morocco and particularly Egypt, where beating, drowning and even electric shock treatment are used.

When a man is transported bound and blindfolded - in the American parlance "packaged" - it is said that he has been "rendered" to a foreign service, and from the unutterable hell of his subsequent experience come "extreme renditions". The desired result of this process is a complete set of answers to questions drawn up by US intelligence that are then fed into a database which, without a trace of irony, has been codenamed Harmony.

Naturally, the CIA officers are not themselves applying the electrodes to genitals or rubber truncheons to the soles of the feet, but in the case of prisoners being tortured in Saudi Arabia, they are on hand, in the words of CIA director George Tenet, to "share the debriefing results".
Ever wonder why friendly Arab states like Jordan and Egypt just can't seem to make progress on human rights violations like torture? Ever wonder if Washington is playing a role in these failures?

The ease with which the American public accepts these outrages is remarkable. That is, when they are even acknowledged at all. I supppose looking the other way is always easier.

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