To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Human Rights Watch Tears Bush a New One (and Not in a Good Way)

Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch, has a great op-ed in today's Washington Post comparing Bush's torture policy to Stalin's.

here are some suggestions for the president's reading list.

He might begin with Robert Conquest's classic work on Stalin, "The Great Terror." Conquest wrote: "When there was time, the basic [Soviet Secret police] method for obtaining confessions and breaking the accused man was the 'conveyor' -- continual interrogation by relays of police for hours and days on end. As with many phenomena of the Stalin period, it has the advantage that it could not easily be condemned by any simple principle. Clearly, it amounted to unfair pressure after a certain time and to actual physical torture later still, but when? . . . At any rate, after even twelve hours, it is extremely uncomfortable. After a day, it becomes very hard. And after two or three days, the victim is actually physically poisoned by fatigue. It was as painful as any torture."

[...]

After fifty or sixty interrogations with cold and hunger and almost no sleep, a man becomes like an automaton -- his eyes are bright, his legs swollen, his hands trembling. In this state, he is often convinced he is guilty."