I would like to believe our country didn’t used to behave this way. Scott Shane writes in today’s New York Times:
The military trainers who came to GuantÃ¡namo Bay in December 2002 based an entire interrogation class on a chart showing the effects of â€œcoercive management techniquesâ€ for possible use on prisoners, including â€œsleep deprivation,â€ â€œprolonged constraint,â€ and â€œexposure.â€
What the trainers did not say, and may not have known, was that their chart had been copied verbatim from a 1957 Air Force study of Chinese Communist techniques used during the Korean War to obtain confessions, many of them false, from American prisoners.
The recycled chart is the latest and most vivid evidence of the way Communist interrogation methods that the United States long described as torture became the basis for interrogations both by the military at the base at GuantÃ¡namo Bay, Cuba, and by the Central Intelligence Agency.
I say I would like to believe that our country didn’t used to behave this way. I was brought up thinking that everything we stood for was, um, against this. Maybe I was naive.
(Of course, you know what righties will say. It’s not torture. It used to be torture when Communists did it, but now it isn’t because it’s us doing it.)