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The ‘Anti-Imperialist’ Nations of Iran, Syria, and Libya Participated in the CIA Torture Program

As of now, only a 525-page summary of the confidential, over 6,000-page Senate Intelligence Committee Study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Program has been released. Yet even this small and heavily redacted excerpt, constituting only 8% of the entire report, shows CIA “enhanced interrogation” (a euphemism for torture formerly employed by none other than the Nazis—”Verschärfte Vernehmung“) to be most unsavory, to put it mildly.

We know with absolute certainty that, at the very least, the CIA used the following forms of torture on detainees (who were never even charged with a crime):

  • waterboarding,
  • “rectal feeding”—i.e., feeding by rape; liquidating entire solid-food meals, inserting it into detainees rectum via IV, and pumping it into the large intestines,
  • rape threats with broomsticks,
  • “ice water baths,”
  • standing sleep deprivation; sleep deprivation for up to 180 hours,
  • threats with buzzing power drills
  • threats to kill family members and rape mothers,
  • and more.

    Remember, these are just the redacted, “lighter” crimes.

    In their own emails and documents, the CIA referred to their torture facilities as “dungeons.” Reed Brody, spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, called the CIA’s illegal torture tactics “medieval.”

    The only person involved in the CIA torture program who has been charged with a crime is John Kiriakou—a whistleblower who, in 2007, was the first person involved in the program to confirm its existence. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison for the worst crime of all: telling the truth.

    As the utmost horrors of CIA crimes become popular knowledge, as the CIA’s detention and extraordinary rendition program is back in public consciousness, it may be a good time to remind everyone of Open Society Foundations 2013 report “Globalizing Torture: CIA Secret Detention and Extraordinary Rendition.” Said study showed just how widespread foreign complicity was in this grotesque, inexpressibly immoral program.

    Take a look at the map of the nations involved and you’ll see that, in spite of the insistence of the fervent authoritarian, RT- and Press TV-watching pseudo-“leftist” (or, in actual leftist parlance, “tankie”) to the contrary, the supposedly “anti-imperialist” nations of Iran, Syria, and Libya indeed participated in the CIA torture program.

    Yes, that is right, the purported “anti-imperialist” autocratic regimes of the Ayatollah, Bashar al-Assad, and Muammar Gaddafi helped the world’s leading imperialist, in the words of Obama, “torture some folks” (ahem, a lot of folks).

    (On this note, don’t err in assuming the absence of Latin American participation in the program is indicative of widespread anti-imperialism. While some Latin American countries (e.g., Venezuela, Cuba, etc.) may indeed be some of the leading anti-imperialist and overall progressive forces, many Central American countries in particular are thoroughly embedded within US hegemony.

    The School of the Americas—renamed the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation (WHINSEC) in 2000 in another euphemistic sleight of hand—has helped train far-right terrorist paramilitary groups and dictators for the past two-thirds of a century. School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) has been keeping track of this torture training camp for some time now.

    History shows us that, if there’s a corner of the world with ultra-reactionary paramilitaries itching for power, you can bet the US has funded them, supplied them with weapons, and taught them how to torture.)

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    Ben Norton

    Ben Norton