Torture

This past weekend saw the annual protest at Fort Benning, Georgia, home to the notorious School of the Americas, a/k/a the School for Terror (famous alumnae include Manuel Noriega). According to the New York Times, the number of protesters this year was far lower than a few years ago when Martin Cohen included Fort Benning in his disinformation book, No Holiday: 80 Places You Don’t Want To Visit. To help try to boost interest in the effort to end the School of the Americas, now renamed as the “Department of Defense Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” (Blackwater and other criminal corporations aren’t the only ones who play that game), disinformation is pleased to bring you Martin’s advice on attending next November’s protest:

Soa logo

#28 No Holiday: Fort Benning, Georgia

Join the annual protest at the notorious School for Terror

How to get there:

Fly or take the train to Atlanta, Georgia, and rent a car and drive to Fort Benning, about 85 miles (137 kilometers) southwest. The Commandant’s door is always open to visitors:

We invite you come to our campus, meet our students and faculty, and see our programs in action. Our motto is “Libertad, Paz y Fraternidad,” which means Freedom, Peace, and Brotherhood. Together we will make a difference in the region and the world.

The crazy paving entrance and the pink stucco mansion of the main block look more appropriate to a college summer camp than the school for assassins and torture techniques that it really is.

What to see

Not that you can see that from outside. But at least every November at Fort Benning there is a protest outside one of the gates, attended in past years by over 10,000 people, some of them bearing crosses with names of civilian victims of Fort Benning’s graduates carefully inscribed on them…


Frank Thadeusz presents a light-hearted perspective of the common tortures of the Dark Ages: A German researcher has studied medieval criminal law and found that our image of the sadistic treatment of…



As if beatings from wardens and guards weren’t bad enough… from Salon.com:

A device designed to control unruly inmates by blasting them with a beam of intense energy that causes a burning sensation is drawing heat from civil rights groups who fear it could cause serious injury and is “tantamount to torture.”

The mechanism, known as an “Assault Intervention Device,” is a stripped-down version of a military gadget…



Nick Baumann and Daniel Schulman tell how human rights advocates investigating torture ended up snooping on the CIA—and in hot water with the feds, in Mother Jones: The CIA probably doesn’t want…




From Yahoo News:

Is a crusading French documentary maker striking a blow at the abusive powers of television — or simply taking reality TV to a new low of cynicism and bad taste? That’s the question viewers across France are asking in light of Christophe Nick’s new film Game of Death, which aired on French television Wednesday night. The documentary has generated a massive amount of attention — and naturally, courted controversy — because of the dilemma that faced contestants on a fake game show in the film: Would they allow themselves to be cajoled into delivering near-lethal electrical charges to fellow players, or rather follow their better instincts and refuse?

Game of Death is an adaptation of an infamous experiment conducted by a team led by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. In order to test people’s obedience to authority figures, the scientists demanded that subjects administer increasingly strong electric shocks to other participants if they answered questions incorrectly. The people delivering the shocks, however, didn’t know that the charges were fake — the volunteers on the other end of the room were actors pretending to suffer agonizing pain. The point was to see how many people would continue following orders to mete out torture.


MARK BENJAMIN writes on Salon: Self-proclaimed waterboarding fan Dick Cheney called it a no-brainer in a 2006 radio interview: Terror suspects should get a “a dunk in the water.” But recently released…



Julian Ryall writes in the Telegraph:

The Imperial Japanese Army’s notorious medical research team carried out secret human experiments regarded as some of the worst war crimes in history.

Its scientists subjected more than 10,000 people per year to grotesque Josef Mengele-style torture in the name of science, including captured Russian soldiers and downed American aircrews. The experiments included hanging people upside down until they choked, burying them alive, injecting air into their veins and placing them in high-pressure chambers.

Now new detail about their victims’ suffering could be revealed after the authorities in Tokyo announced plans to open an investigation into human bones thought to have come from the unit. A new search is also due to be carried out for mass graves that may contain more victims of human experiments.



Sophie Tedmanson in Sydney reports for the Times:

The Church of Scientology faces the prospect of a police investigation in Australia after being accused of torture and embezzlement and of forcing employees to have abortions.


Nick Xenophon, an independent senator, presented letters to the Australian Parliament from seven former Scientologists which he said showed that the secretive church was a front for physical violence, intimidation and blackmail.

“I am deeply concerned about this organisation and the devastating impact it can have on its followers,” he told the Australian Senate in Canberra. He called for a Senate inquiry…