Thursday, April 23, 2009

Life imitates art; 1984 is happening now

I was amazed by an April 19, 2009 Seattle Times reprint of a Washington Post article by Joby Warrick and Peter Finn, Psychologists shaped interrogations, which discussed the role of psychologists in the interrogation of terrorist suspects. Not only did these "health professionals" (the article's words, not mine) evaluate the ability of suspects to endure interrogation, but at least some had a hand in designing the procedures meant to physically and mentally break suspects. One psychologist used assessments to find a suspect's fears. A memo states: "He appears to have a fear of insects."

The recommendation to exploit this fear? Put the man in a small wooden cage with a caterpillar or other bug. Didn't any of these people have to read 1984 in high school? How could anyone forget the cage of rats? Ultimately, this miserable exercise wasn't carried out, but what other tortures might have been designed and implemented?

I don't know why this revelation shocked me. The Bush II years were one long demonstration of doublethink.

Read the article here

No comments:

Post a Comment