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Democracy Now! - From the Cold War to the War on Terror
Interview with mister Alfred McCoy, professor of history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Author of “A Question of Torture: CIA Interrogation, From the Cold War to the War on Terror” and also “The Politics of Heroin: CIA Complicity in the Global Drug Trade.”
We now take a look at what lies behind the shocking images of torture at Abu Ghraib by turning to the history of the CIA and torture techniques. The International Committee of the Red Cross, Amnesty International and other human rights groups say the recently released images of abuse of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib show a clear violation of international humanitarian law. The U.S. made a pledge against torture when Congress ratified the UN Convention Against Torture in 1994 - but it was ratified with reservations that exempted the CIA’s psychological torture method. So what were the results?
A new expose gives an account of the CIA’s secret efforts to develop new forms of torture spanning fifty years. It reveals how the CIA perfected its methods, distributing them across the world from Vietnam to Iran to Central America, uncovering the roots of the Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo torture scandals.
AMY GOODMAN: And glad to have you with us, especially in light of your history. I first learned of you with your first book The Politics of Heroin: C.I.A. Complicity in the Global Drug Trade, for which you almost died. What happened then?
ALFRED McCOY: Oh, when I was researching that book in the mountains of Laos, hiking from village to village, interviewing Laotian farmers about their opium harvest, and they were telling me that they took it down to the local helicopter pad where Air America helicopters would land, Air America being a subsidiary of the C.I.A., and officers, tribal officers in the C.I.A.’s secret army would buy the opium and fly it off to the C.I.A.’s secret compound, where it would be transformed into heroin and ultimately wound up in South Vietnam. And while I was doing that research, hiking from village to village, interviewing farmers, we were ambushed by a group of C.I.A. mercenaries. Fortunately, I had five militiamen from the village with me, and we shot our way out of there, but they came quite close. Then later on, a C.I.A. operative threatened to murder my interpreter unless I stopped doing that research. And then when...
READ MORE in full transcript of the entire Interview
Originally posted by TheB1ueSoldier
The CIA only uses con-coercive methods of interrogation such as sense deprivations, sleep deprivation, and solitary confinement. In other words, they aren't allowed to torture victims or humiliate them as many other countries do.
- Dan Mitrione
"The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect"
Originally posted by TheBlueSoldier
Yes, Dan Mitrione did do those horrible things, but America executed punishment to him for torturing his victims meaning that we don't tolerate torture. America is a strict follower, if not the most strict follower of the Geneva Convention.
"Mr. Mitrione's devoted service to the cause of peaceful progress in an orderly world will remain as an example for free men everywhere." - Ron Zeigler, White House spokesman.