Saturday, April 21, 2012

12-04-22 Torture: It did not start in GITMO, Abu Ghraib, or Afghanistan, but in the medieval prisons in the territorial United States

The degree to which the US has degraded itself can be gleaned from the fact that the treatise "Democracy in America" (1835 ) was the outcome of de Tocqueville's travels in the US to survey the prison system.  At the time it was considered by far more humane than any of its European counterparts.  Today, the situation is dramatically reversed.
[]  []   Water Boarding
The Rampart Scandal and the Criminal Justice System in Los Angeles County.By Erwin Chemerinsky:  Guild Practitioner, 57:121 (2001)"This is conduct associated with the most repressive dictators and police states... and judges must share responsibility when innocent people are convicted."     “No single reform can be sufficient.  Reform is not an event, but a process that will take many years to complete.
____Torture Inc. - Americas Brutal PrisonsSavaged by dogs, Electrocuted With Cattle Prods, Burned By Toxic Chemicals, Does such barbaric abuse inside U.S. jails explain the horrors that were committed in Iraq?
By Deborah Davies (2005)
They are just some of the victims of wholesale torture taking place inside the U.S. prison system that we uncovered during a four-month investigation for BBC Channel 4 . It’s terrible to watch some of the videos and realise that you’re not only seeing torture in action but, in the most extreme cases, you are witnessing young men dying.

The prison guards stand over their captives with electric cattle prods, stun guns, and dogs. Many of the prisoners have been ordered to strip naked. The guards are yelling abuse at them, ordering them to lie on the ground and crawl. ‘Crawl, motherf*****s, crawl.’

If a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stamps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from one man as a dog clamps its teeth onto his lower leg.

Another prisoner has a broken ankle. He can’t crawl fast enough so a guard jabs a stun gun onto his buttocks. The jolt of electricity zaps through his naked flesh and genitals. For hours afterwards his whole body shakes. 


The American Prison and the Normalization of Torture
By H. Bruce Franklin
The prison has become a central institution in American society, integral to our politics, economy, and culture. Between 1976 and 2000, the United States built on average a new prison each week and the number of imprisoned Americans increased tenfold. With a current prison and jail population of over two million, America has become the uncontested world leader in incarceration. Prison has made the threat of torture part of everyday life for millions of individuals in the United States, especially the 6.9 million currently incarcerated or otherwise under the control of the penal system. More insidiously, our prison system has helped make torture a normal, legitimate, even routine part of American culture.

Imprisonment itself, even when relatively benign, is arguably a form of torture. This is implicit in our society using prison as the most dire legal form of both "punishment" and "deterrence," except for execution. Moreover, in the typical American prison, designed and run to maximize degradation, brutalization, and punishment, overt torture is the norm. Beatings, electric shock, prolonged exposure to heat and even immersion in scalding water, sodomy with riot batons, nightsticks, flashlights, and broom handles, shackled prisoners forced to lie in their own excrement for hours or even days, months of solitary confinement, rape and murder by guards or prisoners instructed by guards--all are everyday occurrences in the American prison system.


What Goes On There Is More Like Gulags Of Centuries Ago.Regarding the imprisonment of "Birther" Lt. Commander Walter Fitzpatrick, III, in Monroe County, Tenessee.(2011)


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