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7 Ways "Zero Dark Thirty" Excuses Torture


Society & Culture  (tags: government, ethics, torture, media, republicans, dishonesty, corruption, abuse, crime, society, sadness, violence )

Carrie
- 704 days ago - alternet.org
Zero Dark Thirty could not have been produced if the officials involved in U.S. torture policy had been held accountable.



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Comments

Tamara Noforwardsplz (185)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 4:53 pm
Definitely one movie I will not be going to see. Thanks Carrie.
 

Carrie B. (315)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 4:55 pm
I have mixed feelings about seeing it. At any rate, I will have to wait until it is out on video if I do choose to view.
 

Jason S. (57)
Thursday January 10, 2013, 5:51 pm
Good posting, thanks
 

Alexandra Rodda (177)
Friday January 11, 2013, 1:46 am
Reading this article was like being put through a wringer. What is this world?
 

Gary A L. (137)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:39 pm
Thanks Carrie all evidence points to the act that this criminal action of torture actually puts our troops at greater risk and dbase’s our country we have become what we hate
 

Gary A L. (137)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 1:40 pm
I mean Fact
 

Elizabeth M. (68)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 2:26 pm
I would not even bother to watch this movie! So many things take place in real life that we wouldn't want to even imagine. A world full of hate, bitterness & revenge are all out there.
Noted & read. Thanks Carrie.

 

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 4:22 pm
I have seen the movie and there are quite a few errors in the article.

First, the water-technique depicted in the movie was, in reality, authorized in a grand total of four, that's 4, cases. Not thousands, four. By modern, or even historical standards, it does not even register as torture. It is closer to yelling at a person than what is normally called torture today. Let's compare simulated drowning with other modern techniques:

Simulated drowning arouses an instinctive reaction built into the human brain and denies the victim the ability to do it. That produces primal fear. It is used to train people, Pavlov-style, not to withhold information. There is no lasting physical damage. Iraqi militias were fans of power-drills and poking holes in people. The wounds inflicted in Iraqi torture were normally lethal, especially given the large arteries near human genitalia and the fact that these were the favourite target for the drills. The Chinese, reportedly, drive electric currents through victims, from orifice to orifice, leaving internal burns. Such internal burns can be lethal. This is all aside from the standard cutting and beating which is so commonly used.

Third, torture, and these methods which really don't qualify, do, normally, work if done correctly. Obviously it is not just a matter of hurting people. The standard method is to begin by trivial questions, then asking questions to which you already know the answer, and then mix in questions which you can independently verify, punishing lies. The point of the first set is to get the prisoner used to the idea of answering questions without betraying his cause. The second is to train the prisoner to answer truthfully, rather than just say what he thinks the interrogator wants to hear, like Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi did. The third is to get or confirm information.

Fourth, the Third Geneva Convention really did not apply to these prisoners for two reasons. First, those conventions all include Common Article 2, and al Qaeda did not abide by the Third Geneva Convention. Second, Article 4 defines "prisoner of war" and without being members of states' formal armed forces, could only have fit the definition under paragraph 2. However, in a cell-structure, the militias failed to meet the first conditions, and in accordance with modern urban guerrilla doctrine, violated the other three as often as possible.

Bigelow actually died make quite the statement against the harsh methods shown in the movie. The protagonist's original boss leaves because he can't stomach the torture anymore. When even the primary interrogator in the movie finds the interrogation-methods so repulsive that he gives up his jobs to avoid them, what statement, exactly, is that? The only other major character who was an interrogator, the protagonist, is shown as finding the practices repulsive whenever they occur. One of the first scenes where the protagonist distinguishes herself is where she suggests another method (lying, telling the prisoner that he suffered memory-loss from sleep-deprivation, but had already broken), and that is also the first time the interrogators get any information. This is not exactly an endorsement of harsh interrogation, let alone real torture.
 

Stephen Brian (23)
Saturday January 12, 2013, 4:23 pm
(Sorry: "Bigelow actually did make", typo earlier)
 

Scott haakon (4)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 11:02 am
Learn about the real world. Getting information by any means is a time honored method and done correctly it is very effective. Learn history. What would you do if there was a bomb that would kill or main hundreds and the person opposite you knew where it was. Talk to them? Have a debate? or apply techniques that would get that information? Think before emoting.
 

Lois Jordan (58)
Sunday January 13, 2013, 1:48 pm
Noted. Thanks, Carrie. I'll also be boycotting this movie. Family members won't be seeing it either.
 

Alan G. (16)
Wednesday January 23, 2013, 11:27 pm
I could tell from the trailer that is jingoistic war porn.
 
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