Monday, February 11, 2008

Things to read

Torture Amnesia - Shame on America, which provides a useful capsule history of US torture since the mid 20th century. It's very nicely done.

h/t Valtin.

In that particular essay, there's a reference to an article by Douglas Valentine appearing in Counterpunch a few years back, ABCs of American Interrogation Methods: The Phoenix Program Revisited. I'm pretty sure someone who used to visit this blog a bit more regularly, Arcturus, made reference to Valentine's article at some point in the distant past; it's worth a gentle reminder that the article exists and deserves to be read.

On what I would consider a related note, check out Arthur Silber's latest essay, "Partnership for Protection" -- and for the Destruction of Liberty and, Possibly, of You. In discussing an entity called InfraGard, Silber summarizes over a century's worth of construction of our current national "security" state in which the lines between public sector and private for-profit business have not only been blurred, but practically erased. Readers familiar with Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine will not be the least bit surprised with what Silber lays out. Those who haven't should, as far as I'm concerned, not only procure a copy of Klein's book but also check out Silber's archives at his blog, Once Upon a Time..., posthaste. The means by which corporatist states impose their regimes, which - let's face it - only benefit the political elites and their corporate cronies, are quite repressive once the rest of the population gets fed up. Martial law, which is what InfraGard is priming its corporate members to accept as a given, typically ends up meaning torture, "disappearing" of dissidents (both real and imagined), mercenaries aiming their firearms at any of us who don't happen to be part of the corporate A list, and so on.

Amnesia is not a condition which we can afford at this juncture. What you don't know can and will hurt you.

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