Friday, August 17, 2007

This is Your Victory

Democracy Now has an interview with Dr. Angela Hegarty, a forensic psychiatrist who examined José Padilla.

Some excepts:

"What happened at the brig was essentially the destruction of a human being's mind," said Dr. Hegarty. "[Padilla's] personality was deconstructed and reformed." She said the effects of the extreme isolation on Padilla are consistent with brain damage. "I don't know if he's guilty or not of the charges that they brought against him," said Dr. Hegarty. "But, already - before he was ever found guilty - he's paid a tremendous price for his trip to the Middle East."

AMY GOODMAN: President Bush then classified Jose Padilla as an enemy combatant, stripping him of all his rights. He was transferred to a Navy brig in South Carolina, where he was held in extreme isolation for forty-three months. The Christian Science Monitor reported: "Padilla's cell measured nine feet by seven feet. The windows were covered over... He had no pillow. No sheet. No clock. No calendar. No radio. No television. No telephone calls. No visitors. Even Padilla's lawyer was prevented from seeing him for nearly two years."

DR. ANGELA HEGARTY: Well, “torture,” of course, is a legal term. However, as a clinician, I have worked with torture victims and, of course, abuse victims for a few decades now, actually. I think, from a clinical point of view, he was tortured.

We will never know the truth. Any speaking of the truth in this case has already been drowned out by the screams of the tortured. Here, once again, the goal was not to search for and find the truth of a matter. Torture was used for the only effective thing it will produce, a suitable confession comforming to the desired viewpoint of the torturer.

Go read the whole thing. It will chill you to the bones. This is what has been done in our name.


Glenn Greenwald writing at Salon covers this case and its constitutional implications very well.



Anonymous blackdog said...

Not all that surprising though. The very reason for laws that protect the accused came about from a fear that government could become dominated by individuals who would seek to do just this. At least the law could slow them down, assuming someone would rise to the battle.

But not now. I could care less wether or not Mr. Padilla is guilty or not. I do care about his rights as a citizen. They seem to have been trampled to the point that this could now happen to anyone.

Deja vu? You bet, this seems to be the same fight that civilization has waged since its inception. Some success here, a slide there. But for the usa to even pretend anymore about the rights of man is ludicrous.

Damnit, the fight continues, the same damn old fight.

11:49 AM  
Blogger pogo2 said...


The government we now have has become the government our forefathers fought 2 wars to be free from. I am deeply ashamed.

1:27 PM  
Blogger litbrit said...

Well said, pogo. Well said.

(p.s. my word verification code was "cfuknm". Damn.)

6:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Torture was used for the only effective thing it will produce, a suitable confession comforming to the desired viewpoint of the torturer.

As Orwell once wrote (in 1984), "The purpose of torture is torture."

- oddjob

6:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Blackdog, it is indeed the very same damn old fight.....

(Hat tip, Sully, who has for some years now been eloquent in his condemnations of the torturing.)

- oddjob

6:36 PM  
Anonymous amish451 said...

"....this could happen to anyone..."

Any one of us , on a whim, for a perceived slight, no reason save the opportunity to torture ...Chilling

6:22 AM  
Blogger Lisa said...

Shameful conduct, conducted in the name of self-preservation. What are you when you must sink to these depths to "save yourself." Such a lie.

I am chilled that I am neighbors with those who are celebrating this travesty and miscarriage as some kind of victory.

11:30 AM  

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