Archive for Torture

Liberties Lost Podcast

It was a short, weird show today. Mike held forth on his Baby Boomer upbringing, in relation to expectations of American liberties. He contrasted that with what we are seeing at the airports, from Congress, in Gitmo and more.

Unfortunately, BlogTalkRadio misbehaved. Ryan could not connect to talk.

It was short and only suited to those who like 15-minute rants.

icon for podpress  That Freedom Thing [18:10m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Post bin Laden Opportunities Podcast

Flippancy aside (this show was billed Zombie bin Laden), we ended talking about this huge moment, including but far beyond Osama bin Laden’s take-down. We ended up calling for progressive sorts to think about what they want our government to do and let the Administration and Congress know.

Sure, Al Qaeda is still there and it or similar terrorists will hit small and maybe big short- and mid-term. Yet, in this democratic spring of aspiring nations trying to throw off their oppressive governments throughout North Africa and the Middle East, we have a greater opportunity to create partners and allies. Properly handled, we could stifle terrorists and create a more peaceful larger world. This is a moment like none other since the end of WWII.

In today’s show, Ryan and Mike spoke of some of the things we need to change, and chances for us to tell our President and Congressional delegations to do. There’s the hundreds of billions annually thrown away on Cold War defenses against non-existent enemies (Rep. Barney Frank is on that and will need support). There’s the craziness that torturing people and massively spying on Americans keeps us safe. In fact, those are what bin Laden wanted to drive us to all along.

Listen in as we kick around what we see as the opportunities available. We want to see time, effort and money spent more on expanding a democratic world, rather than pretending we can build and hide in a Fortress U.S.A.

icon for podpress  Zombie bin Laden [27:35m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download


Why We Ignore Toture Podcast

Eric FairMike ended up as solo babbler today. The subject was torture.

He had a choice Saturday between the Boston civic summit, which was certain to be lots of idealized talk and the seminar/panel Torture and the American Psyche: Blurring the Boundaries Between Healers and Interrogators.

The panel was at the First Parish (UU) Church in Brookline. However, the roughly dozen co-sponsors were largely mental health and physicians associations. The 150 or so attendants seemed to be mostly psychologists, psychotherapists and psychiatrists.

Disclaimer: Mike attends that church and knows the social-action committee folk, as well as goes to coffee hour and church meetings in the hall where the seminar occurred.

The panel included Stephen Soldz Ph.D., a local psychoanalyst, social activist and professor at the Boston Graduate School of Psychoanalysis, Leonard Rubenstein J.D., president of Physicians for Human Rights, David Sloan-Rossiter Ph.D., co-chair of the Curriculum Committee at Boston Institute for Psychotherapy and the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis, and Eric Fair a former interrogator in Iraq who has been telling his story and calling for reform. The photo is of Fair.

The short of the seminar included:

  • This is not the first time, we as a nation have tortured and have overridden our Constitution and its amendments (think WWII interment camps, Cold War and Red Scare periods). When a lot is perceived to be at stake humanity and our values lose.
  • Despite the evidence that coerced information is worthless, too many in the chain of command have convinced themselves it is a regrettable necessity. It is not.
  • Psychologists have been key in devising and training on the worst, most effective ways of torturing captives.
  • The American Psychological Association is the only professional organization in any of the health fields that does not absolutely forbid its members from participating in torture.
  • Left without clear directives and discipline, our soldiers who otherwise act heroically, Fair said, “will wield that same violence in the most irresponsible of ways, to the shameof the very cause they swore to defend.”
  • The current Administration may need to go away before a new President stops the anti-American, anti-liberty acts against us and others.

Related Links:

Mike will post more on the panel in the next few days at Marry in Massachusetts.

icon for podpress  Torture panel [27:41m]: Play Now | Play in Popup | Download