Wednesday, November 03, 2004
Torture's Dandy, Solitary's Quicker
(One thing found of prisoners in US prisons is that solitary confinment can and does cause severe and permanent psychological damage in the prisoners. How severe? In some cases, a year in solitary can render a prisoner unresponsive to external stimuli. This may be accompanied by a high pulse rate indicating extreme fear or anxiety. The younger the person in solitary, the less able they are to handle it. A teenager will usually have permanent personality changes from a period of solitary. More about the effects at Long Term Solitary Confinement and The Psychological Impact of Incarceration: Implications for Post-Prison Adjustment.)
From James Hodge and Linda Cooper: The CIA and Abu Ghraib:
"'People will say anything to stop pain,' McCoy said. 'The information extracted is inherently unreliable. And that's the problem the CIA solved with these psychological methods.'
The basic techniques -- the use of stress positions, sensory deprivation and sexual humiliation -- are aimed at making victims feel responsible for their own pain and suffering. But McCoy added that while it appears less abusive than physical torture, the psychological torture paradigm causes deep psychological damage to both victims and their interrogators, who can become capable of unspeakable physical cruelties.
The results of the CIA torture experiments were codified in 1963 in a secret manual known as 'KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation.' Four years later, the CIA was operating some 40 interrogation centers in Vietnam as part of its Phoenix Program, McCoy said. Eventually the CIA's psychological methods were spread worldwide through the U.S. Agency for International Development's Public Safety program and U.S. Army Mobile Training Teams."