No, not any of the usual myriad goods, often inexpensive, imported from China, but Communist China’s interrogation methods were evidently imported for use at Guantanamo Bay, according to the Grey Lady. Specifically, a chart shown to interrogators at GTMO was derived from a report by Alfred D.Biderman, a sociologist then working for the U.S. Air Force, which discussed how the Communist Chinese would obtain false confessions from American military personnel.
Of course, this is…yesterday’s news… today! We give you this snippet, from my July, 2007 interview with Michael Otterman:
The Talking Dog: Can you comment on the recently disclosed to the public revelations that, in direct contravention of international (and American) law, so-called “SERE” techniques from the military have been “reverse engineered” on prisoners of the American military at Guantanamo, Afghanistan and elsewhere?
Michael Otterman: SERE, or Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape, is key to the American use of torture today. The aim of SERE, a military program started soon after the Korean War, is to prepare US soldiers for the torture they may face if captured by an enemy that does not abide by
the Geneva Conventions. Given the USSR and Communist China were our
main Cold War enemies at the time, Soviet and Chinese tortures like sensory deprivation, forced standing, waterboarding, and hypothermia were adopted into the program. Again, the idea was that soldiers would be better prepared to resist such tortures if they were first exposed to them in controlled settings.
After “the gloves came off” post 9/11, the CIA, then US military, turned to SERE for expertise on torture. In late May 2007, the Pentagon declassified an Inspector General report titled: Review of DoD-Related Investigations of Detainee Abuse. This report reveals that SERE psychologists and trainers worked with military interrogators in the US, at Guantanamo, and even Iraq to train them to use Soviet tortures. The irony, of course, is that SERE was created to prepare soldiers to deal with an enemy that didn’t abide by Geneva. It was the US now that was violating Geneva, and using the very techniques of our Cold War enemies in the GWOT.
Now, mind you, the latest report I cited comes from The New York Times, which despite the many criticisms I often lay at its feet, has been responsible for some of the best reporting on the abuses perpetrated by the Bush Administration. So… if The Times is… evidently this late to the game on these critical issues, you can see where most of the rest of the American so-called media is on this (i.e. still repeating the “worst of the worst” canard, even as our government has let around 2/3 of “the worst of the worst” out, and keeps holding a fair number of those remaining that it admits are guilty of nothing… which explains just how insanely uninformed (and of course misinformed) the American people are about the whole bloody thing… not to mention everything else.)
Well, what else is new. We’ll keep trying to bring you whatever details of “truth” can be brought to you within the various limitations imposed by the Bush Administration’s unAmerican obsession with secrecy (and the fact that at the end of the day, I’m one guy with a day-job, a family and occasional other interests, etc.) Until then, this has been… “Chinese imports (or yesterday’s news… today).”