provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.The White House did not deny the allegations; instead, spokesperson Dana Perino stated, no less than four times: "we do not torture". And believe me, when Dana Perino says it, I count each time!
Dana, are you sure about the White House's policy? Because here are some basic descriptions of these and other techniques utilized by the CIA:
1. The Attention Grab: The interrogator forcefully grabs the shirt front of the prisoner and shakes him.The sad part about this is how little TV news time is devoted to covering these issues. Listening to National Public Radio's "On the Media", I was surprised to hear that the three major news networks virtually ignored these stories. ABC never mentioned it all, CBS decided to report on how expensive airline tickets would be this holiday season, and NBC opened with another piece regarding the toe-tapping Senator in the bathroom! Then they (and only they) covered the 'torture' memo. Listen here:
2. Attention Slap: An open-handed slap aimed at causing pain and triggering fear.
3. The Belly Slap: A hard open-handed slap to the stomach. The aim is to cause pain, but not internal injury. Doctors consulted advised against using a punch, which could cause lasting internal damage.
4. Long Time Standing: This technique is described as among the most effective. Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled to an eye bolt in the floor for more than 40 hours. Exhaustion and sleep deprivation are effective in yielding confessions.
5. The Cold Cell: The prisoner is left to stand naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees. Throughout the time in the cell the prisoner is doused with cold water.
6. Water Boarding: The prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised and head slightly below the feet. Cellophane is wrapped over the prisoner's face and water is poured over him. Unavoidably, the gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning leads to almost instant pleas to bring the treatment to a halt.
While our class has talked about the whitewashing of the past, what do we know about whitewashing the present? Can you think of any other stories that seem to get less attention than they deserve?