Help!  Please Stop!  I’ll Talk!


By: Jim Moore

If youve got the stomach for it, letҒs discuss torture. After all, torture—-from the Latin word tortura, meaning twistingӔ—- has become a popular topic not only in Iraq, but in our own White House as well.

The techniques of torture do not require complex equipment. On the contrary, some methods can even be improvised from innocuous household or kitchen equipment.

Think not? Try this little experiment. Go into your kitchen, pull down the handle on your toaster, and when the coils get red, touch the top of the toaster for just a split second—-it will make you pull your hand back and cry out in pain.

Now imagine someone holding your hand down on the toaster so that you cant pull your hand away. The pain would be excruciating and soon you would be screaming and begging for mercy. The agony would get so intense that you might even pass out. But then, when you regained consciousness, they would put your hand back on the toaster and start the pain all over again.

Pain. Pain. And more pain. That is what torture is all about, and why I tremble in frustration and anger when I think that one human being could ever subject another human being to this kind of unbearable, inescapable, physical agony.

Purposely subjecting another human being to acute physical pain, from which they cannot escape, is immoral, inhumane and bestial at best. This is why the Geneva Convention—-a series of international humanitarian laws that cover the way wars will be fought—-was created. These rules protect people who do not take part in the fighting, such as medics, chaplains, and those who can no longer fight, such as the wounded, the sick, shipwrecked troops—- and most importantly, prisoners of war.

Almost every country in the world (190) adheres to these rules. ThatҒs why it is so troubling to hear that Vice President Dick Cheney is personally suggesting non-compliance with the Geneva rules so that we can more productivelyӔ interrogate our prisoners at Guantanamo and other U.S.-run, foreign-based, prison facilities.

But then, you would expect that, I suppose, from a man who psychologists maintain is devoid of both conscience and access to his emotions, other than pure rage.Ӕ

We are not, however, here to discuss the dangerous mentality of the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency. Rather, the reason for this article is an attempt to put the unspeakable cruelty of physically torturing another human being into perspective, and hopefully begin doing away with this monstrous evil forever.

Since, I presume, you have never undergone physical torture, and maybe never will in your lifetime, you may be forgiven for your lack of empathy with those who have. After all, if you are feeling nothing at this moment, you can only imagine the horrendous pain that some of our fellow human beings have gone through, and will be going through in the future, if we fail to put an end to torture.

Here are few things to shudder at in your imagining:

Researchers found that there are actually five degrees of any torture situation; First, the torture of being threatened with being tortured; second, the torture of being conveyed to the place of torture; third, the torture of being bound up for torture; fourth, the torture of being lifted up to the torturing apparatus; fifth, the torture procedure itself.

It matters not whether you are Christian or Muslim, black or white, man or woman, the anticipation of your torture will be just frightening, and the incredible pain of foreign objects on flesh will be just as unbearable.

Furthermore, as Al Kennedy of the Guardian caustically reminds us, the venue of torture never quits, it just moves. Nazis torture the French registers; the French adapt Nazi techniques in Algeria and Indochina; the Americans adapt French and CIA torture techniques in Vietnam; coalition forces adapt CIA torture techniques in Iraq, and on and on it goes.

And lest you get the idea that torture experts lack ingenuity in their methods of inflicting horrible pain, know this: their optionsӔ are virtually endless. Of course, you are asked to use your imagination as to how each of these techniques would feelӔ as each torture technique is being applied.

There is torture using chemicals: victims are forced to ingest chemicals or other products, such as broken glass, heated water, or soaps that cause pain and internal damage.

There are provenӔ torture devises, such as: the breaking wheel, iron maiden, Judas chair, muzzles, the rack, stocks, and thumbscrew.

In torture rooms, electricity is used for more than turning on light bulbs. Applying electric shocks to bare flesh is a common method of getting recalcitrant victims to cooperateӔ, especially if the electric shocks are applied to the genitalia, or the electrodes are inserted in the mouth or rectum or vagina.

Torture methods are often not so sophisticated but more basicӔ: beatings, boiling, de-nailing, near drowning, flaying, foot roasting, rape, agonizing sounds, whipping, sleep deprivation, you get the idea.

If this article on torture has upset you or soured your stomach, good. In this world it is futile to try to turn brutal, sadistic people into civilized animals, thus they will always be with us—-often smiling as they go about their business.

If, however, we have the courage to stop heartless human beings from inflicting pain on helpless human beings—-by vigorously insisting that the rules in documents such as the Geneva Convention be obeyed—-we will have done the best we can do. And it will be the right thing.

“Published originally at : republication allowed with this notice and hyperlink intact.”