39

“Those of us who had been raped spoke the least and cried the most.”


 

More on the abuse of jailed Iranian dissidents.


 

“Those of us who had been raped spoke the least and cried the most.”

  1. This sort of thing awakens the inner dragon in any man worthy of the name.

  2. Two points here:
    (1) I've never defended rape or torture, in the name of freedom or any other cause. Your implied slander is despicable.
    (2) The Abu Ghraib atrocities were done in contravention of the system, not as part of it (or at least that is what we've been told). The perpetrators were prosecuted. That is quite a different situation from those who receive orders from on high to rape and torture people.

  3. Hmm, can't tell if my comment was deleted or disappeared.

  4. Hmm, can't tell if my comment was deleted or disappeared. If the latter, it would be the first time it's happened to me, though I know there have been reports on all sides of a technical glitch with Intense Debate.

    • I believe it was deleted because of the slander you included at the end.

    • More likely a technical thing, I'd bet.

  5. Please stop whining about "slander." I can't slander you when you hide behind a pseudonym. Anyway, it was a challenge to you to condemn what the Americans do when you condemn what the Iranians do. If it was deleted on that basis, the deletion was a small crime against intellectual honesty. But as Sean says it was probably a technical thing; revealing, though, that you would prefer the crime.

    • The quick denial of that analogy is that the Iranian abuse is simply breaking people for no other reason than sending a sadistic warning to the masses, as opposed to getting needed information to save lives (though I tend to find the 'ticking bomb' argument lacking….).

      But I have to admit my mind went in the same direction immediately – how can we feel such outrage at abuse of this sort, while shrugging about the treatment of Amercian prisoners?

      • That's certainly true about the different motives; but a lot of people were tortured and raped at Abu Ghraib who were completely innocent. The motive was surely not to strike fear into the people of Iraq at the lawless power of the American system, though that was the effect. It comes down to the fact that the Iranian regime is brutally violating human rights deliberately, whereas the USA was violating them from a combination of ideology and incompetence.

      • The more essential difference is that Abu Ghraib was done in spite of the authorities, whereas the Iranian atrocities are being done at the behest of the authorities.

        After Abu Ghraib the perpetrators were prosecuted and their commanding officer was fired. The Iranian rapists/torturers are acting with the permission of the Ayatollah.

      • The more essential difference is that the Abu Ghraib atrocities were done in spite of the authorities, whereas the Iranian atrocities are being done at the behest of the authorities.

        After Abu Ghraib the perpetrators were prosecuted and their commanding officer was fired. The Iranian rapists/torturers are acting with the permission of the Ayatollah.

      • The more essential difference is that the Abu Ghraib atrocities were done in spite of the authorities, whereas the Iranian atrocities are being done at the behest of the authorities.

        After Abu Ghraib the perpetrators were prosecuted and their commanding officer was fired. Had Rumsfeld or Cheney been implicated they'd have been fired and probably prosecuted as well. Had Bush been implicated he's have been impeached.
        The Iranian rapists/torturers are acting with the permission of the Ayatollah. No one will be prosecuted, fired, or impeached for their actions there.

        • "the Abu Ghraib atrocities were done in spite of the authorities, whereas the Iranian atrocities are being done at the behest of the authorities."

          That's such a convenient myth; sadly debunked, alas.

        • "the Abu Ghraib atrocities were done in spite of the authorities"

          That's such a convenient myth; sadly debunked, alas.

    • You suggested that I had defended rape and torture "in the name of freedom". It was slander, and it was despicable. It was also intellectually dishonest so I don't think you have much cause for complaint. It was particularly odd after we had recently had a civil discussion in which we mutually agreed that torture was intrinsically evil and then went on to discuss why this is so.

      I'm finding that you seem to oscillate between friendly banter like "Not to pry, but are you actually named Gaunilon? I think it would be great to be named after a philosopher." or "Sorry for needling you on your religious POV sometimes, btw: I can't help it, sectarianism is part of my Christian heritage."

      and nasty outbursts like "Too busy harassing women at some abortion clinic to make time? Or praying to the Lord Jesus on the steps of Parliament? Or forgiving your enemies behind clenched teeth?" and the one that was deleted on this board earlier today.

      I don't quite understand what ails you; I will pray for you.

    • You suggested that I had defended rape and torture "in the name of freedom". It was slander, and it was despicable. It was also intellectually dishonest so I don't think you have much cause for complaint. It was particularly odd after we had recently had a civil discussion in which we mutually agreed that torture was intrinsically evil and then went on to discuss why this is so.

      I'm finding that you seem to oscillate between friendly banter like "Not to pry, but are you actually named Gaunilon? I think it would be great to be named after a philosopher." or "Sorry for needling you on your religious POV sometimes, btw: I can't help it, sectarianism is part of my Christian heritage."

      …and nasty outbursts like "Too busy harassing women at some abortion clinic to make time? Or praying to the Lord Jesus on the steps of Parliament? Or forgiving your enemies behind clenched teeth?" and the one that was deleted on this board earlier today.

      I don't quite understand what ails you; I will pray for you.

    • You (Mitchell) suggested that I had defended rape and torture "in the name of freedom". It was slander, and it was despicable. It was also intellectually dishonest so I don't think you have much cause for complaint. It was particularly odd after we had recently had a civil discussion in which we mutually agreed that torture was intrinsically evil and then went on to discuss why this is so.

      I'm finding that you seem to oscillate between friendly banter like "Not to pry, but are you actually named Gaunilon? I think it would be great to be named after a philosopher." or "Sorry for needling you on your religious POV sometimes, btw: I can't help it, sectarianism is part of my Christian heritage."

      …and nasty outbursts like "Too busy harassing women at some abortion clinic to make time? Or praying to the Lord Jesus on the steps of Parliament? Or forgiving your enemies behind clenched teeth?" and the one that was deleted on this board earlier today. It wasn't even provoked by a disagreement, just seemed to be an out-of-the-blue accusation, so I really don't get it.

      I don't quite understand what ails you; I will pray for you.

      • I wasn't accusing you of defending torture in the name of freedom, I was suggesting that your first comment ("awakes the inner dragon") was in stark contrast to your defense of Cheney's torture policy, which you indulge in at all hours, including above — essentially because the militarists in Washington have made a cynical alliance with hardcore social conservatives like yourself. In your eyes that apparently absolves them of any grotesque abuse of power. You condemn torture morally and yet you deliberately overlook that the abuses at Gitmo, Abu Ghraib, and Bagram were the result of a systematic corruption of the constitution by Bush, Cheney, and Rumsfeld. That kind of willful ignorance from an otherwise intelligent person is nothing short of shocking — but I know that social conservatism is the solvent for all contradictions, especially of the factual sort. It's too bad you can't get past that. It's transparently obvious that for you, abortion as murder is such an outrage that all other outrages pale by comparison.

        What ails me is people arguing in bad faith on behalf of an authoritarian ideology, like yourself. You ail me, Gaunilon.

        My nasty outburst, which was entirely deliberate, was provoked by your accusing me of "slander" (of Blackwater mercenaries, no less). If you're going to get personal, I will too. So keep it civil, if you can, and you won't be forced to drudge up quotes like a paranoid Internet stalker while moaning about "slander."

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually. That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went to the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that a you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who can forces me to question my own positions.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that a you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who can forces me to question my own positions.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who can forces me to question my own positions.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that a you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who can forces me to question my own positions.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who forces me to question my own positions.

          • When you went through that video with a fine-toothed comb and showed that it was not what I had found it advertised as, I immediately disowned it. You then fired back and accused me of intellectual cowardice for not disowning it. May I ask why the heck you care or cared about Blackwater mercenaries?!? Anyway, they have randomly shot people in the past, there have been several scandals; they are not prosecutable when they do so, since they answer neither to the US Army nor to the Iraqi government; it is scandalous that the US has been using such troops to such an extent. Yet, because they're part of the occupation army for Bush's mendacious war of choice, they get your 100% support so that when someone gets a mistakenly labeled Youtube video about them you go ballistic. That's not entirely sane, which is why I rightly said you were (at least on that occasion) pathetically full of sh*t. You exploded well before me ("slander" is the preferred word, apparently) and I decided to be as offensive as possible. At least I haven't lost my touch in that regard.

          • Intellectual honesty is indeed at a premium here. Regrettable.

          • What is intellectually dishonest about my position? Or are you now specialising in cheap shots?

            Simply, it has now been shown beyond a shadow of a doubt that Cheney & his minions authorised torture via John Woo; that they encouraged the CIA and army to practice it, even when the professional interrogators questioned its efficacy; that it was done not in a "ticking time bomb" scenario but systematically, to hundreds of prisoners; that many of those prisoners (at Abu Ghraib and at Bagram, if not at the CIA black sites) were entirely innocent. They did this not to protect the United States but from a desire to undermine reason and the rule of law in themselves; to promote a war of choice and encourage a climate of militaristic hysteria; in short, to revenge themselves on everybody who wished to better the human race and hold American power accountable for its actions. Meanwhile Cheney was waiting to impose martial law, i.e. use troops to arrest Americans on American soil, and systematically lied about Iraq, WMD's, and his own lawlessness. How close to a fascist dictatorship do you have to get before you start to say, "Hmm, maybe I'm not cheering for the good guys here?"

            Instead, you, Gaunilon a self-professed Christian, a self-professed patriot, are still chanting their praises — not in 2002 when it was clear that public grief and fear at 9/11 was being exploited; not in 2003 when the Iraq war rationale was being fabricated; not when Iraq was being blown up; not in 2004 when Abu Ghraib was leaked; not in 2005-8 when the evidence for CIA torture was coming out. No no, all that's behind us now; but Cheney is still aligned with the anti-abortion crowd, still loathes the "Left" — so you are still onside. Do feel free to tell us where your famous intellectual honesty fits in there. Also your principled opposition to torture. Do tell, Gaunilon.

          • Wow.

          • Eloquent as ever. Except the day has passed on which you could simply say, "No credible person doubts the good faith of Dick Cheney." That worked for a while, but the emptiness of the microwaveable right-wing ad hominem has finally been revealed for all to see. Perhaps it is too late for you to come to terms with the fact that your heroes, your saints, your fearless Leaders had both feet and brains of clay; you invested too much, and you lost everything. Only a Cheshire-cat sneer of "Wow" to show for all those righteous rants? Cue the violins.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who forces me to question my own positions.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who forces me to question my own positions.

        • Actually in the two discussions we've had on the subject (before this one) you probably recall that I condemned torture as being wrong in all circumstances and further stated that I disagreed with Cheney' stance on coercive interrogations. First line of that discussion, actually.

          That would also be the discussion that later imploded when you posted a video of an American gunner enforcing the bubble zone behind a convoy (without shooting anyone) and claimed that it showed Blackwater mercenaries randomly shooting people. After which you simultaneously admitted that the video was not what you'd claimed (after I called you on it) and went on the whole "You're so full of sh*t it's pathetic." diatribe. (whole discussion here for anyone interested.)

          It's reassuring to see that you're on the other side of most issues, I guess. It would be depressing to encounter this sort of thing in an ally. But on the whole I'd prefer debates with someone who forces me to question my own positions.

  6. More properly, "…the perpetrators were prosecuted and their commanding officer was fired, *after graphic photographs of the mistreatment were made public* "

    • A valid point. But at least according to Rumsfeld's Congressional testimony this was the first he knew of it. In fact he seemed to be in disbelief about the forced sexual humiliation they underwent.

      Anyway, no evidence ever showed that he, Cheney, or Bush wanted or authorized the Abu Ghraib sadism. So, absent such evidence, it seems to be a different kettle of fish entirely compared to the Iranian situation.

      • I'm being careful with my words here for that very reason (we can debate tacit approval some other time). I'm more interested in the general reactions and perceptions of our society, because there's some points where they begin to verge on delusional or hypocritical on our part.

    • Indeed. Without minimizing the Iraq situation, we seem to be getting into a habit of demonizing Islamic countries without a modicum of self reflection on our part.

      The maritial rape law in Afghanistan is another example. It's horrific, but people descirbe it as virtually medieval when in fact our own laws weren't all that different thirty years ago or so. (I am categorically not saying things were exactly the same here, nor am I saying the law in Afghanistan ought to be given a pass – just that we don't create a false comparison in the process.)

  7. I just lost a comment to the system, which is fine, but means I can't edit 'Iraq' to read 'Iran', as I meant to type. So if it comes back, don't assume I'm a dummy (any more than usual, anyway!).

  8. Michael, please disregard the inevitable nonsensical tangents certain ego-driven commenters will take (no, people, trust me, the story is NOT about you), and continue to share these atrocious stories. We need to be outraged.

    • If we need to be outraged — more outraged, I think you mean — then the story certainly is about us. The Iranian regime has been outrageously brutal for years, I'd say since 1979. It is well to be reminded of that, but at the same time I don't see what's that new here. It's a completely unapologetic police state. But what are we supposed to do about it beyond passive solidarity? Anyway, at the end of the day, the more foreign and remote the culture, the harder it actually is to care, that's just the nature of things; just as we are more upset about Iran than about Darfur.

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