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Water Torture: Bureaucratic or Just Business?

If you want to know whether a practice has become regular within an organization, look for the form:

Waterboarding Training form for U.S. Government Recordkeeping

[Partially Declassified Inspector General Report page 219]

At the sight of a CIA form to document certification and recertification in torture techniques (so qualified under 18 USC 2340), some may be tempted to discuss the banality of evil in reference to government bureaucracy. But it appears that the CIA was operating under a different model:

CIA document: Required resources will be approved and available for the HVT Interrogation Program as depicted in Section 4. Such resources are critical to the success of the Program's ability to meet identified customer requirements.

[Partially Declassified Inspector General Report page 175]

It’s all about customer service, and in the customer service model, the customer is always right:

“Speaking truth to power” depends upon a vigorous effort to find the truth, and high-quality analysis is as much the product of open intellectual discourse as it is of diligent research. While none of the DI employees I interviewed suggested that there has been a conscious attempt to stifle debate within the directorate, a significant number did raise concerns about the unintended effects of the “constant need to please the customer” on the free flow of ideas.

[Integrity, Ethics, and the CIA: The Need for Improvement, Kent Pekel for CIA Center for the Study of Intelligence]

9 thoughts on “Water Torture: Bureaucratic or Just Business?”

  1. qs says:

    I’m amazed the public would ever get to see their forms. Normally they just burn the books if there is some sort of probe going on,

    1. ReMarker says:

      Under the Bush Administration (the same political party as Ron Paul), the CIA did destroy video tapes of those torture sessions.

      1. qs says:

        Paul voted against the war and he also supports defunding the CIA so maybe some nuance is in order.

  2. ReMarker says:

    Un F-ing real!!!

    Years ago when I debated with my buddy about Bush v Gore (unsuccessfully), the last thing I said to him about that was, “even Bush and the GOP can’t screw up America’s powerful economy and more people will die in a Bush Administration”. Even though I was wrong on the first point and right on the second, I never imagined any American adminstration would change our country into a terriorist state.

    I expect we will learn many more facts that support many of our worst fears.

    America needs a very powerful political party to purge subversives from the American body politic. I have put my faith and energy in the Democratic Party. I hope I am right and that the Dems. have the strength and the butt in their pants to do it. I want America to be the best country on earth.

  3. Tom says:

    @ ReMarker: Both parties are controlled by the military/financial institutions and their all-powerful lobbies. Our government, especially since Obama is following in Bush’s footsteps (stumblings), no longer works as designed. This has been documented by many examples on this site and others of the complete disregard for the citizenry, the Constitution and the voting process while the corporate agenda is advanced on all fronts for at least the past two administrations (and probably going as far back as the Johnson era). There are many books about the take-over: The Best Government Money Can Buy (Greg Palast), The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism (Naomi Kline), and Confessions of an Economic Hit Man (John Perkins) are all good reads and will make your blood boil.

    Welcome to the new America (soon to be a third world country, complete with a worthless currency, tacit dictatorship, and a police state mentality).

  4. ReMarker says:

    Tom, you may be correct in your accessment of the new America,
    “soon to be a third world country”, but I believe with the advent of the communication revolution (the web), America’s best days are ahead of us.

    For the “Democratic & Republican parties are the same” crowd, ALL U.S. political parties must (should) obide by the same rules (laws). That doesn’t mean all our laws governing political parties are good. Nor does it mean that the bad laws were passed and supported by ALL our political parties. Nor does it mean existing bad laws can’t be changed.

    I don’t have the time atm, to find links to support the following propositions, but I’ll make them anyway and try to avoid deciet or embellishment. A comprohensive description of America’s current state of affairs, including observations and suggestions, would take the equivalent of a thesis.

    Please keep in mind 3 basic facts during your read of this comment; 1. U.S.A. exists, 2. The U.S.A laws are guided by our Constitution, and 3. I want the U.S.A. to be a more perfect union.

    The main political party indulging in the systematic attempt to undermine our governement (subversion) is the GOP and they have been largly successful post-Social Security. Why the GOP does that is the subject for another thesis.

    A recent hallmark of “rich” rule over the “non-rich” is the GOP selected ‘Surpreme Court majority’ ruling that FREE SPEACH = MONEY. Many of Tom’s points would not have the “ring” of truth, if that ruling was different. That ruling must be changed but it takes time to purge the Surpreme Court of GOP political activist. Having a GOP president has caused this situation.

    In spite of all the previous points, and understanding GOP
    “subversive operatives” exist in other political parties, I believe the Democratic Party, as a whole, to be the more fair, just, and realistic political party and has the opportunity to gain the strength to force the changes that America (and the world) needs. I also believe that other Americans and political parties, with a social conscience, would be better served to support (and change as needed) a strong political party. It’s a “work within the system v outside the system” issue.

    An easy debate to win is the Dems losing because of Nader’s run for the presidency. The Dems lost the opportunity to make 2 Surpreme Court appointments because of that loss.

    I repeat:
    America needs a very powerful political party to purge subversives from the American body politic. I have put my faith and energy in the Democratic Party. I hope I am right and that the Dems. have the strength and the butt in their pants to do it. I want America to be the best country on earth.

  5. Tom says:

    If Nader had won two of the elections (in fact, even if he just won the FIRST time) in which he ran, we wouldn’t be in the sorry state we are in today.

    1. ReMarker says:

      You may be right but Nader would first need the support of enough people to win. Just putting Nader (or anyone) in the presidency wouldn’t make him powerful enough to make needed changes even if the changes he wanted were “perfect”.

      The president has influence but it comes from people that vote for him and also he must have a majority of support from the legislature to get things done. Even under those circumstances, as is true now, some “special interests” can/will exert so much influence that “what’s good for America” may not get done. Example: Nader’s efforts to get seat belts in vehicles took years. It took more years to get seat belt laws enforced.

      We are talking about the power to change things in the most powerful country on earth. That is not an easy task and it shouldn’t be.

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