cofty - unsettling and uncomfortable for me
Good Guys VS Bad Guys: Facts Nobody Wants to KNow
When it comes to this sort of thing, I very much doubt if any country is squeaky clean. While Britain didn’t “ invent” concentration camps (that dubious honour fell to Spain in the Cuban War of Independence), it came a very close second in the Second Boer War (1899-1902). If ever there was a “Banker’s War”, that would have had to have been one - being fought for nothing other than the Witwatersrand Goldfields of the Transvaal.
Also, Britain’s atrocities in its own backyard bear scrutiny. For example, look up on YouTube Peter Watkin’s 1964 documentary “ Culloden”. For another example, look up just about anything you like on the Irish War of Independence (1916-1921).
No, the “White hats” - “Black hats” business is by no means as clear cut as we might imagine.
Torture was taught by CIA; Declassified manual details the methods used in Honduras; Agency denials refuted
By Gary Cohn, Ginger Thompson, and mark Matthews, The Baltimore Sun, Monday 27 January 1997, Final Edition
WASHINGTON -- A newly declassified CIA training manual details torture methods used against suspected subversives in Central America during the 1980s, refuting claims by the agency that no such methods were taught there.
"Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual -- 1983" was released Friday in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by The Sun on May 26, 1994.
The CIA also declassified a Vietnam-era training manual called "KUBARK Counterintelligence Interrogation -- July 1963," which also taught torture and is believed by intelligence sources to have been a basis for the 1983 manual.
......The Sun's 1994 request for the manuals was made in connection with the newspaper's investigation of kidnapping, torture and murder committed by a CIA-trained Honduran military unit during the 1980s. The CIA turned over the documents -- with passages deleted -- only after The Sun threatened to sue the agency to obtain the documents.
Human rights abuses by the Honduran unit known as Battalion 316 were most intense in the early 1980s at the height of the Reagan administration's war against communism in Central America. They were documented by The Sun in a four-part series published from June 11 to 18, 1995.
....In The Sun's series, Jose Barrera, a former member of Battalion 316 who said he was taught interrogation methods by U.S. instructors in 1983, recalled using the technique:
"The first thing we would say is that we know your mother, your younger brother. And better you cooperate, because if you don't, we're going to bring them in and rape them and torture them and kill them," Barrera said.
...."These manuals confirm a truth we in Honduras have known for a long time: that the United States was involved in encouraging the abuses of the Honduran military," said Judge Roy Medina. "They were trying to stop communism. But the methods they used are not acceptable in civilized societies."
Thanks for that link, Ruby. And to Bungi Bill—all true. The Americans sat at the knee of England in learning law, order and domination.
I see where some balk at the measuring moral equivalence in regimes and their methods and intentions. But as time goes on the disregard for the poor in the US mirrors the devaluation and vilification that will justify military actions and indeed most nations do this. But it is often done to wrongly dismiss valid claims of abuse by the US.
ln the state l live in, Arkansas, there is a growing problem that one can see easily if you trace the unbroken chain of human abuse that is rooted in the history of the convict lease system. This system became state gulags. Its human rights abuses are the stuff of nightmares.. and film. Ever see Robert Redford in Brubaker? I don’t want to hijack the thread by going any further into this here except to say last month l twice presented some aspects of the effects of our Arkansas “gulag” in “ A Child’s History of Arkansas Prisons “ using giant marionettes.
failing to face facts is a huge problem in my state and it has hit me personally.
Dolgun tells the story of a Russian man who dreamed that Stalin died. It disturbed him so much that he woke up and told his wife. The next day he also told a coworker.
(It's a peculiarity, or perhaps a perversity of the human nature that people absolutely adore their brutal dictators. We see it with the Kim dynasty today.)
The coworker reported him and he was sentenced to 25 years hard labor for having an "Anti Soviet Dream." His wife, who failed to report him was sentenced to 10. The average life expectancy in a labor camp was 2.
Dolgun himself was the only person known to have actually survived a stint at the Sukhonovka prison with his mind still intact.
I balk at the comparison on this thread because of the basic difference. A government that falls short of its moral principles is one thing. A government that has absolutely none is something else entirely.
Well said, TD.
A government that falls short of its moral principles is one thing. A government that has absolutely none is something else entirely.
What troubles me is that what l see plainly in Stalin’s psychotic system has echoes in my own country. I will gladly allow for human moral failures—any number of them really. But when evidence accrues of the state benefitting from a pattern of criminal behavior it inevitably infects the workings of government—and those who complain are in trouble — if not prison.
Edit: It is hard to speak ill of a country l love- l know a lot of great stories of it. But it’s true that there are great stories in so many countries but we don’t really listen to them. I love people —that’s why I hate to see these things happening that run contrary to the ideals and values the US is supposed to stand for. These failures are serious and creating bigger problems for a growing number of people —here and abroad.
Let me try being pithy :)
Politicians don't know what's going on unless they are BRIEFED by the "Intelligence Agencies".
The "Intelligence Agencies" are by nature non-transparent. Black ops. Black box. Hidden.
So the dog who wags the tail is C.I.A., F.B.I. N.S.A. and a dozen more acronyms.
It doesn't take five minutes to compile a list of outright LIES issued from this alphabet soup of agencies.
Conspiracy is what?
More than one person secretly planning things which subvert the law. Right?
LIARS are in charge. These LIARS have their own agenda for their own reasons and nobody can stop them.
The Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses is a lot like these "Intelligence Agencies" issuing statements which prove (ultimately) false. They too must be believed. Their inner workings are non-transparent. They have their own agenda and are not held accountable for their "sources" (i.e. Jehovah is a construct).
Bottom line? GOOD INTENTIONS are no excuse.
Korean "Rocket Man" is inflated by the press into an "existential threat" one minute and the next minute he is in talks with South Korea and planning to get rid of his Nuclear arsenal.
It is all cotton candy.
Trump is a madman but both parties vote huge funding for the red button under his thumb.
"We Are the Opposition" is bullshit.
In other words, why do we take newspapers, television, politics, "Intelligence agencies" or the Governing Body seriously? They are exempt from reckoning.
Our job as citizens is to fight with each other and posture morally while the people at the top enrich themselves, lie, send young men and women to die.
Business as usual.
There is no solution...and that is why I never vote.
what l see plainly in Stalin’s psychotic system has echoes in my own country. - Humbled
It is beyond my ability to comprehend how anybody can say that with sincerity. Are you really familiar with life under Stalinism?
The people who are most vocal in accusing western governments are suffering from a degree of cynicism that is totally irrational. It's nothing but moral posturing.
Perhaps we can read the same books on Stalinism? Or you are more familiar than that?
Usually you are precise in your definitions, cofty. But it doesn’t follow that one who makes a valid criticism of government is guilty of moral posturing. If you disagree with a particular piece of information l have put out, say so. This is a lazy rejoinder from you.
Yes I am very familiar with the history of Russia and the Stalin years in particular.
Anybody who dares to compare that with any aspect of Western liberal democracy is either ignorant of the Soviet regime or blinded by self-loathing.