Stripping before men still clothed is the first step toward weakening the prisoner's psychological defense. " But stripping is also sexually laden. It transposes sexual gestures, acts and innuendo from a strip club to the torture chamber. Thus sex is always present in the torture chamber whether the victim is a man or a woman. The sexing of torture is deeply grounded in the recesses of the torturer's psyche.
-Marnia Lazreg, Torture and the Twilight of Empire: From Algeria to Baghdad
The process -- employed in the name of "security" -- which involves the mutual destruction of human dignity, seems to be an integral part of most police and specialized agency methods.
-Breyten Breytenbach, The True Confessions of an Albino Terrorist
Ever since I first read about the program to routinely strip PFC Bradley Manning conceived by his jailers at Quantico Brig in Virginia I have been trying to figure out in this time of moral fatigue how to express how morally outrageous this behavior by US military personnel is.
For anyone who has been away on vacation to Planet Apathy, Manning is imprisoned for allegedly releasing classified materials to WikiLeaks. He has recently been charged with 22 crimes, including "aiding the enemy," which can carry the death penalty. His jailers apparently hope young Manning will incriminate the big fish Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks. Assange was just extradited from Britain to Sweden for investigation of a questionable sexual allegation.
Bradley Manning, Quantico and a naked detainee at Abu Graib under Saddam
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Whether or not The New York Times and other newspapers that printed the WikiLeaks material -- and the American people who read and benefited from the information -- are considered "the enemy" was not made clear by the military. The Times now regularly cites information from the releases to shed light on how our elected government works around the world.
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