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The Ten Lies of Dick Cheney

December 27, 2008
Andy Worthington

On December 11, the Senate Armed Services Committee issued a compelling report into the torture and abuse of prisoners in US custody (PDF), based on a detailed analysis of how Chinese torture techniques, which are used in US military schools to train personnel to resist interrogation if captured, were reverse engineered and applied to prisoners captured in the “War on Terror.”

The techniques, taught as part of the SERE programs (Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) include sleep deprivation, the prolonged use of stress positions, forced nudity, hooding, exposure to extreme temperatures, subjecting prisoners to loud music and flashing lights, “treating them like animals,” and, in some cases, the ancient torture technique known as waterboarding, a form of controlled drowning that the torturers of the Spanish Inquisition called “tortura del agua.”

The report rejected the conclusions of over a dozen investigations, conducted since the Abu Ghraib scandal in 2004, which identified problems concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantánamo, but which were not authorized to gaze up the chain of command to blame senior officials for approving the use of torture by US forces, and for instigating abusive policies.

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