After so many millennia of human existence, you would think people would have become more enlightened.
Not as much as we would like to think. As this documentary ‘Torturing Democracy’ clearly shows, the depth of depravity that those in power can sink to needs to be seen to be believed.
Here you can see former US president George Bush pretending as if torture was the work of a few bad apples, after it had been exposed for the world to see in Abu Ghraib. In reality, however, torture had already been sanctioned at the highest levels.
Look how slimy government lawyers resort to weasel words and legal technicalities to give the green light to torture.
Note that at least some of the techniques — but not, as far as we know, the water torture, at least not in recent decades — documented in this programme have also been used in Malaysia on ISA and other detainees. From the testimony of ex-ISA detainees, we know that these techniques include hooding, sleep deprivation, exposure to blasts of cold air, standing for long hours, mental torture and humiliation.
And all for the same reason i.e. national security in the face of what is defined as “an implacable enemy”.
Then there are all those other suspects who have died in custody. In today’s news, for instance, the family of yet another victim is calling for an inquest – which has not received as much publicity as the calls for an inquiry into Beng Hock’s death).
It’s time to outlaw all forms of torture!