Well, it’s a quiet Friday afternoon here in America, so that can mean only one thing: it’s time for organizations to release whatever news they’ve been trying to keep quiet for the week. This weeks’ big news is that a number of memos authorizing, rationalizing and generally condoning torture and interrogation have been released to the ACLU.
There’s a couple of interesting facts here. The first is that very few of the 3,000 or so news articles about this topic seem to link to the ACLU site where the memos are prominently featured.1 I find this odd, and it gives me plenty of room for speculation. (Bad reporting? Laziness? Suppression? Something else?)
The second interesting thing is the quotes in the memos themselves. I haven’t had a chance to read all the memos yet, but I didn’t have any difficulty finding some good stuff. The memos begin with a classic “Top Secret” stamp, and go on to say things such as:
…You would like to employ ten techniques…These ten techniques are: (1) attention grasp, (2) Walling, (3) facial hold, (4) facial slap (insult slap), (5) cramped confinement, (6) wall standing, (7) stress positions, (8) sleep deprivation, (9) insects placed in a confinement box, and (10) the waterboardFrom a different memo:
Detainees subject to sleep deprivation who are also subject to nudity as a separate interrogation technique will at times be nude and wearing a diaper. If the detainee is wearing a diaper, it is checked regularly and changed as necessary…
They go on from there with great detail about how the interrogations go down, with the conclusion of course being that these things don’t constitute torture.
1 The math was done crudely. Here’s a google search that turns up 2,890 hits on the topic, and here’s one that searches for sites that link to aclu.org, and that have the words “interrogation memo”. The method is crude, but the overlap is sparse.
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