After Hours at the Charnel House (1999)
If you want to work out, you need a gym.
If you want to torture, you need a gulag.
The CIA has been hiding and interrogating some of its most important al Qaeda captives at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe, according to U.S. and foreign officials familiar with the arrangement.The secret facility is part of a covert prison system set up by the CIA nearly four years ago that at various times has included sites in eight countries, including Thailand, Afghanistan and several democracies in Eastern Europe, as well as a small center at the Guantanamo Bay prison in Cuba, according to current and former intelligence officials and diplomats from three continents.[...]The existence and locations of the facilities -- referred to as "black sites" in classified White House, CIA, Justice Department and congressional documents -- are known to only a handful of officials in the United States and, usually, only to the president and a few top intelligence officers in each host country.The CIA and the White House, citing national security concerns and the value of the program, have dissuaded Congress from demanding that the agency answer questions in open testimony about the conditions under which captives are held. Virtually nothing is known about who is kept in the facilities, what interrogation methods are employed with them, or how decisions are made about whether they should be detained or for how long.While the Defense Department has produced volumes of public reports and testimony about its detention practices and rules after the abuse scandals at Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison and at Guantanamo Bay, the CIA has not even acknowledged the existence of its black sites. To do so, say officials familiar with the program, could open the U.S. government to legal challenges, particularly in foreign courts, and increase the risk of political condemnation at home and abroad.
Well, we can't have any of those foreign legal challenges from quaint organizations like the International Court of Justice in the Hague or queasy countries that might go rubbery to having our torturing outsourced to "black sites" within their borders. And, my oh my, we certainly cannot disclose anything like mini-malls of super-double-secret made-in-America gulags because, hey, that might lead to "political condemnation." Now there's an embedded syllogism Socrates would love:
-- We can detain and torture enemy combatants without impunity in hidden foreign locations.
-- Political condemnation might put a stop to such illegal, unethical, or immoral activities.
-- Therefore, shut your trap so we can do whatever the fuck we want.
How logically democratic and so very like us -- assuming, thanks to BushCo, we have now become the old Soviet Union.
The Gulag had antecedents in Czarist Russia, in the forced-labor brigades that operated in Siberia from the seventeenth century to the beginning of the twentieth. It then took on its modern and more familiar form almost immediately after the Russian Revolution, becoming an integral part of the Soviet system. Mass terror against real and alleged opponents was a part of the Revolution from the very beginning -- and by the summer of 1918,
BushLenin, the Republican'sRevolution's leader, had already demanded that enemy combatants"unreliable elements" be locked up in black sitesconcentration camps outside the United Statesmajor towns [struck text is my addition].
But, as every Freeper lives and breathes, authorities gotta have extraordinary police powers to combat fanaticism, right? That's why Dick Cheney is lobbying lawmakers to exempt the CIA from an amendment that would ban torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners, including those in clandestine prisons. After all, people incarcerated in hush-hush Gitmos are evil, right?
If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?
-- Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago
Wow. Who is actually willing to do such a thing? Could it be...this guy?
Yes, Regis. That's my final answer.