Although the other techniques are not described, they undoubtedly included some or all of the following -- prolonged isolation, the use of extreme heat and cold, short-shackling in painful stress positions, forced nudity, forced grooming, religious and sexual humiliation, and the use of loud music and noise -- because this whole package of techniques, including sleep deprivation, was approved for use at the highest levels of the Bush administration, as a senate committee explained in the detailed report in April this year that was cited by the judge (PDF). The program was based on reverse engineering techniques taught in U.S. military schools (the SERE program -- Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape) to train recruits to resist interrogation if captured by enemy forces.
These techniques were acknowledged to be illegal and, moreover, were intended to produce false confessions, but this did not prevent senior Bush officials from pushing for their implementation, and, in al-Rabiah's case, they duly led to his conversion from an innocent man who refused to falsely confess to allegations produced by unreliable witnesses into a modern-day version of the victims of the Spanish Inquisition, the seventeenth century "witches" of Salem and elsewhere, the victims of Stalin's show trials, or the captured U.S. pilots on whom the North Koreans had practiced the techniques adopted by the SERE schools: a broken man prepared not only to falsely confess to any lies put before him, but also prepared to learn these confessions and repeat them as his masters saw fit.
On Desire 2018. Part 43: Doing What One Ought
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