Trump World Grab-Bag--A Collection

Friday, December 12, 2014

So, Approval of Rectal Feeding, Party of You....

I'm still absorbing some of what I've read regarding the US torture program (I will not ever call this bullshit "enhanced interrogation techniques" or EIT, because calling things by nicer names does not make those things any nicer in actual fact)  with a definite sense that the full report is probably even worse.  But let's just get right to the shocking thing--one of the "techniques" as the term is ever-so-quaintly put, that was used on the detainees as a measure of control in the event of hunger strikes and other flourishes of free will, was something so pleasantly referred to as rectal feeding.

To be a bit closer to the mark, let's call this thing "sodomy with a feeding tube". And in my innocent (have you met me? think I'm all that innocent and not-cynical?) little brain, I kind of thought that the idea of ass-rape of anyone, especially via shoving food up there to be violently expelled in a physical state known as "dumping", with a long-term potential for harm in the form of anal prolapse or fissuring, would be viewed as beyond the pale. No. This is not about interrogation. This is about doing the nastiest thing you can think of to a dominated and prone body for the sheer sake of being sadistic that can be found.

And I thought that might even be where the shame might leak in. Because anally-raping prostrate human beings with a feeding tube for non-medical reasons (and the reasons are just about always non-medical) should occur to anyone as being obscene.

And yet there are two responses that actually stun the livid, horror-filled bejesus out of me. The first is that of former Representative Joe Walsh--who is somehow able to maintain that the act of pushing a feeding tube into the (I hope) lubricated anus of a detainee is the act of a patriot.  And the other is that of Nicolle Wallace, former Bush Administration official and late of the McCain '08 campaign, who would rather we not even think about what was done, and considers this a problem of "political correctness".

An opposition to war crimes done in our name is a problem of "political correctness"? As if she believes that, with the right spin, rectal feeding becomes okay, and the deaths under this program are just accidents and the 26 or so people who were subjected to torture because of mistaken identity are just a bit of a laugh we can have at ourselves for fucking up how to be moral humans utterly--tee hee?

Being opposed to the degradation of a human being in any context may be "politically correct"--but primarily because it is morally so. The idea that the cheap phrase "political correctness"--usually used to cover the lesser sins of sexist or racist dialog by labeling the critics of such language as just being such prissy little goody two-shoes, is actually used here to pardon actions that include anal rape with a feeding tube makes me actively ill.  Is there any enormity that can't escape criticism by having that criticism just shelved by calling it "politically correct"?

So for any apologist of the torture program, I am now having you all down for being huuuuugggggee proponents of rectal feeding, or rather, sodomy with a feeding tube. This was not in any way an act of obtaining useful intelligence. This was about sadistically shaming and defiling the bodies of people who were associated with terror--not for strategy, but vengeance out of anger and fear. But this wasn't even punishment in any legal sense our justice system would recognize amongst these untried and uncharged people. When our code of justice forbids the cruel and the unusual punishments.

No, Joe Walsh, it is never right for us to become animals. Not for any purpose, and certainly not for the purpose of cretinous cowards to pretend to be doing something while only making our national reputation stained, and not really saving anyone. And no, Nicolle Wallace--we need to care what was done in our name by the people we elected--so that we will know not to ever elect people who would allow that sort of thing again. And that is not a "PR issue" or a "PC problem". It is understanding that words have meanings. And that actions can't always be spun.

1 comment:

mikey said...

Yes. I thought I was an old, cynical curmudgeon who had seen it all and done most of it, but the torture report forces one to rethink what oft-used terms like 'community' and 'civilization' and 'ethics' mean in terms of the human species tendency to hate and harm.

The most amazing thing, to me, is that the 'program' was developed from the US military SERE program, which was itself modeled intentionally on the North Korean POW torture methodologies from the Korean War.

Why is that amazing? Because the Chinese/NorKor torture regimens were specifically intended NOT to coerce information from those reluctant to provide it, but rather to coerce false confessions from people who were naturally unwilling to admit to things they not only didn't do, but things that never actually happened at all. The Entire structure - the stress positions, the sleep deprivation, the humiliation, the repeated bouts of physical violence - these were developed to work in concert to make a human being willing to say ANYTHING to even try to make it stop. The only real functional difference is that the violence was (mostly) restricted to methods that wouldn't leave permanent marks that the victim might someday show in court.

So when you hear CIA officials and their apologists talking about getting actionable intelligence via these torture methods, remember that the entire operation was designed specifically NOT to reveal facts, but to force people to admit to fantasies. No, it doesn't matter if torture 'works' or not, civilized people don't do it no matter what. But to even make the claim that a system designed to elicit false confessions might somehow reveal important REAL information is bitterly laughable...