It’s not torture. Whatever you do, do not call it torture.
The correct name is enhanced-interrogation technique – or EIT for short. When using the EIT, the subject’s head is held tightly, face up, under a flow of water until the subject squirms, gasps, screams and often faints. There are other forms of EIT: placing the subject for long periods in a bare tiny room which is freezing cold or blazing hot; withholding food from the subject for long periods; forcing the subject to stay awake for many days and nights while blasting loud sounds or music into his confinement cell; making the subject stand or squat for long periods, sometimes on broken legs; feeding the subject by inserting blended foods into the rectum.
In some cases, the EIT can become an IEIT, which means intensified enhanced-interrogation technique. An IEIT can result in the termination of the subject, but please don’t call it death. “Termination” is much preferred.
Application of EIT generally does not cause the subject to bleed, and most often it does not leave noticeable scars. Therefore, it can’t possibly be torture. Oh sure, most often the subjects scream; they plead; they beg like helpless babies. But if you close your ears tight enough, you won’t hear the screams. After awhile, in fact, you will learn to tune out the screams as just part of an ordinary EIT.
If someone questions your application of EIT, simply tell them the technique is necessary to obtain information vital to protect our national security. And if some squishy liberals whine the EIT is cruel or unusual, all you have to do is point to the terrorist attacks 14 years ago. An EIT is truly mild compared to what those terrorist pilots did to Americans on that bleak day.
So, torture, you see, is not really torture. Former Vice President Dick Cheney, a long-time advocate of EIT, keeps telling us. The manuals at the Central Intelligence Agency never mention the word “torture,” although there are thousands of CIA documents spelling out exactly how to administer an EIT or an IEIT.
Forgive the ironic sarcasm in the above paragraphs. Seriously, it should be noted some of the acts against those suspects as rectal feeding, were nothing less than sadistic humiliations that had nothing to do with attempts to elicit information. Many suspects, by the way, were guilty of nothing.
In George Orwell’s dystopian novel 1984, language is turned upside down so the word “war” actually means “peace.” In Hitler’s Germany, many Jewish twin children were used as subjects of “medical experiments” by respected doctors after which one or both twins died or were hideously maimed. The word torture was never used. They were “experiments,” not torture. Tell that to the sweet helpless twins who endured such suffering!
The human mind is diabolically clever at inventing delusionary rationales, excuses, euphemisms, denials and innocent-sounding acronyms for the atrocious acts we do.
We should be thankful for Sen. John McCain, who has the guts to call a spade a spade. Torture, McCain says, is torture. And he ought to know. As a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, McCain endured five years of deprivations and torture, including rope bindings and severe beatings.
Last week in the U.S. Senate, McCain delivered an impassioned speech, one of the most eloquent and persuasive speeches ever given on the subject. It should be required reading; it should be printed in textbooks everywhere.
In that speech, McCain praised the Senate Intelligence Committee’s recent release of its report on torture. The abhorrent practice of inflicting prolonged pain on others to obtain information is “a stain on our national honor” which does “much harm and little practical good,” he said.
He went on to say this: “(The techniques) not only failed their purpose – to secure actionable intelligence to prevent further attacks on the U.S. and our allies – but actually damaged our security interests, as well as our reputation as a force for good in the world.”
Some are claiming release of this report will cause extremists to hate us all the more. But, as McCain noted, those violent hatemongers need no further reason to hate us; they will keep hating us and keep trying to harm us, regardless.
“This report strengthens self-government and, ultimately, I believe, America’s security and stature in the world,” he said.
McCain ended his speech with these powerful words:
“I have often said, and will always maintain, this question (whether or not to use torture) isn’t about our enemies; it’s about us. It’s about who we were, who we are and who we aspire to be. It’s about how we represent ourselves to the world . . . When we fight to defend our security, we fight also for an idea – that all men are endowed by the Creator with inalienable rights. Our enemies act without conscience. We must not.”
Thank you, John McCain, for such eloquent truth.