The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #156284   Message #3684728
Posted By: GUEST,Rahere
11-Dec-14 - 12:15 PM
Thread Name: BS: CIA torturers (God Bless America)
Subject: RE: BS: CIA torturers (God Bless America)
The origin of these abuses was NOT in the British Army, but in North Korea, and particularly among their Russian Advisers, during the Korean War. The discovery of the techniques came from the in-depth American study of brainwashing, and passed into all NATO to a various degree, including the British. Most nations trained in them fairly routinely during ths Cold War, using these techniques on themselves as a training tool to resist interogation if the Russians ever captured you - I don't know how much it went on in the line troops, I didn't spend much time in those circles, but I'm very familiar with stress positions, from the wrong side - as I think is Teribus. From there, it was probably second nature for the more brutal types to use them on the Irish, as they were at that time seen as an implacable enemy. That got out of control, however, and so with the arrival of the Red Fog of War doctrine (ie don't succumb to it) it was stopped. It's now seem as brutally stupid.

Yes, I do own The Guineapigs, having bought it before it was squashed - it was a Penguin Special and was on sale for a very short time before the Government had it delisted. It was a propaganda tool, so I'd be careful about using it as a historical document about what actually happened: I don't think you'd have found waterboarding on the scale of intensity more recently known, for example - and I say that in full knowledge of what the Army did use at the time. Another thing you must be careful about is legal anachronism, the Law by which this is being pursued now did not exist then and so the troops cannot be criticised for acting illegally, or even immorally in the context of the time. We've grown up a bit, and softened a bit, and that's not necessarily a good thing in the long term, but is in the short term. I don't call my training torture, for example, but character building - as you know I'm no pushover.

Anyway, the point is not the UK then, but the US now. In my first reply, I pointed out the hypothetical situation of the US refuting action - but it's now happened. That has just given al-Qaida and IS a big boost, I fear: they can now turn around and say this is what their enemy is like in its own words. And that's a disaster, given it was certain to fail.