Cruel, No Matter What

“I haven’t got over the mental scars. Solitary confinement and sleep deprivation remain as deeply embedded scars in my soul. Sometimes when I am walking on a high bridge I feel like a tug to topple over. It just evokes the memory of walking from or to the interrogation cell (during a spell of 168 days in solitary confinement). There was always that feeling of whether I should throw myself over the balcony.”[1]

“The isolation in confinement and sleep deprivation – it just reaches deep inside you. And people forcing their will on you; it destroys a certain element of self-consciousness and liveliness which is inside yourself.” [2]

As the mediasphere continue to call torture anything but torture this quote shows sleep deprivation and solitary confinement have a lifetime of repercussions let alone water boarding.

And who is the evil sympathy conjuring terror monster who is spewing this dangerous ‘human rights’ porn?

Answer below the fold, see who the torture apologists side against-

Albie Sachs, justice on the Constitutional Court of South Africa appointed to the court by Nelson Mandela. [3] His career in human rights activism started at the age of seventeen, when as a second year law student at the University of Cape Town, he took part in the Defiance of Unjust Laws Campaign. Three years later he attended the Congress of the People at Kliptown where the Freedom Charter was adopted. He started practice as an advocate at the Cape Bar aged 21. The bulk of his work involved defending people charged under racist statutes and repressive security laws. Many faced the death sentence. He himself was raided by the security police, subjected to banning orders restricting his movement and eventually placed in solitary confinement without trial for two prolonged spells of detention. [4] In Maputo, Mozambique in 1988, he lost his arm and his sight in one eye when a bomb was placed in his car by South African security agents. After the bombing, he devoted himself to the preparations for a new democratic constitution for South Africa. He returned to South Africa and served as a member of the Constitutional Committee and the National Executive of the African National Congress. In the Constitutional Court’s December 2005 ruling, Judge Albie Sachs highlighted the deep injustice of denying gays and lesbians the right to formalise their unions. In 2006 on 14 November, followed by the signature of Acting President Phumzile Mlamblo-Ngcuka on 30 December, passed the Civil Union Bill into law. [5]

  1. The Independent
  2. Amira Hass in Haaretz
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Human Rights Program University of Chicago
  5. South Africa Info

There’s a sort of person who uses torture, is an apologist for torture, but whatever their linguistic contortions, legal memos and excuses of following orders, it’s real fucking simple.

Susan Sontag’s principal gifts to our civilization were not that easily packaged, but were a brilliant, non-stop commentary on contemporary art practices and their effects on our emotions. She did get off one sound bite in an interview on television, which was to me a stunning sermon in and of itself. She was asked what she had learned from the Holocaust, and she said that 10 percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and that 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and that the remaining 80 percent could be moved in either direction.

-Kurt Vonnegut

8 Responses to “Cruel, No Matter What”

  1. ralfast Says:

    Newspeak, literally.

  2. Jotman Says:

    In the Hitch torture experiment, I was struck by the fact the journalist recounted getting panic attacks long after the one-time water-boarding (under close monitoring) — a condition he never had before.

    The point that seems lost on many people is that in democracies, people are considered “innocent until proven guilty” in fair trial. Because the detained had not been tried before they were tortured — is there a single exception? — everyone tortured was still innocent under our laws. Torturing anybody is wrong, of course, but there seems to be a feeling that “these people had it coming” without there having been any legitimate process whatsoever by which to support such a claim.

    I thought people learned this stuff in elementary school, but a lot of people are rather thick-headed about this issue.

    • RickB Says:

      Well I would surmise that squeezing education funding does help in all kinds of ways when an elite wants to pull some evil manipulation of the public.

  3. libhomo Says:

    Fear can be manufactured, and it makes people accept the most terrible things.

    • RickB Says:

      Yes and if I may expand, I think there is always a number of people who will do this stuff but it’s when enough wider support is created that they can do it with impunity/support. So comes the fear and the pernicious relevance of media. We now have networks paying known torturers who defend it on their programs!

  4. earwicga Says:

    Under amenable circumstances anyone would do this stuff.

    • RickB Says:

      Well that is different argument, in extremis people may do all kinds of things, but this was not in extremis this was calmly applied by salaried people day in day out. And now defended by well paid (in fact by relative standards rich) people with no pressure, they are freely choosing this path. That is the crucial factor to be remembered.

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