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Concept.png Torture 
(crime,  violence)Rdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png 3
Interest of• Rebecca Gordon
• Marnia Lazreg
• Michael D. Lumpkin
• Daniel Mitrione
• School of the Americas
• James Steele
• John Yoo
Torture is the deliberate infliction of pain, used both as a means of obtaining information (though for this purpose it is notoriously unreliable) and (such as at Guantánamo Bay) to terrorise entire populations.

Torture is the deliberate infliction of physical and psychic pain. It is used both as a means of obtaining information (although for this purpose it is notoriously unreliable) and (such as at Guantánamo Bay) to terrorise entire populations.

The goal of Torture is not to kill the victim, but to break it psychologically, to break its will, to subdue and dehumanize. Torture is a pathological process, no matter what the rationalization du jour might be.

Official Narrative

The official narrative is usually maintained that countries such as US, UK etc. do not torture, since that would be illegal. Instead "enhanced interrogation" techniques are used to stay within the law. Not to use such methods would jeopardize "national security" and they are only used on "terrorist" suspects. Where admissions of torture are made, they are generally many years after the event, to prevent damaging legal investigations into what went on and who was involved.

Barack Obama's offhand admission that "we tortured some folks" on August 1, 2014[1] may be understood as a softening up for a change of this (centuries long) official narrative; possibly the strategy was to prepare the public for the release of a US Senate report into the CIA’s extensive programmes of torture and illegal detention.


The perception consistently given by commercially-controlled media is that torture is used for obtaining accurate information, especially about imminent terrorist actions. In practice, information gained from torture is highly unreliable at best.


"Enhanced interrogation" is readily understood to be a euphemism designed to minimize legal and public relations problems, one that even a dumbed down US populace can understand. A major function of torture is to terrorise - this function was researched during its use in South East Asia (Operation Phoenix), later refined in South America (Operation Condor).[2] Marnia Lazreg argues that this is the primary function of torture and that it regularly appears as a last ditch effort to try to maintain control of a failing empire.[3]

Whilst paradoxical if the claimed justification of the "War on Terror" is taken at face value, this is good business sense from the point of view of the Terrorism industry; terrorising a population is an effective means to promote terror (and "terrorism"), resulting in increased anxiety about the danger of "terrorism", and promoting expenditure and increasing profits.

Gaining information

Torture is effective at obtaining information whether people have any or not - rendering such information questionable at best. Fictional confessions may of course be useful to those seeking to fabricate evidence against people, and a major part of the official narrative about 9/11 appears was derived from evidence obtained using torture. The US Police have admitted to using death threats to obtain information.[4]

Medical Research

The CIA has been using experimental torture techniques, as is evident in the Senate Intelligence Committee's summary of its investigative report. One commentator suggests that it may be more effective to seek prosecution under statutes about unethical medical research.[5]

United Nations Convention Against Torture

Full article: United Nations Convention Against Torture
Torture opinions.jpg

Since 26 June 1987, the UN Convention Against Torture has required signatory parties to take effective measures to prevent torture within their borders, and forbids them to transport people to any country where there is reason to believe they will be tortured. Almost all major nation states have signed and ratified it (with India being a notable exception) although its enforcement is openly flouted by many nations, most notably those which are promoting "War on terror" rhetoric.

Selected Examples



Full article: UK/Torture

The last official torture warrant in England was issued in 1641. While stating to Parliament in 2009 that "Torture is abhorrent. Britain never supports or condones it. So it sticks in the gullet when people try to pretend we do." David Miliband also insisted that the UK's interrogation policy should not be made public.[6][7]


Full article: Stub class article US/Torture

The US is a signatory to the United Nations Convention Against Torture, so torture carried out by US government agencies is generally carried out by proxy and/or in legally obscure jurisdictions, such as Guantanamo Bay. In 2014, US President Barack Obama brazenly admitted "we tortured some folks" but made no admission that such acts constituted crimes or that this wrong doing would be investigated.[8] After US prisoners reported being tortured to the point of unconsciousness by guards the New York State Department of Correctional Services, according to CNN, promised that abusers would be “punished to the full extent of the law.”[9][10]



Page nameDescription
Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuseTop level sanctioned torture on US prisoners, both to gather information about the effects of torture on victims and perpetrators as well as to intimidate and sew dragon's teeth.
Black siteBlack sites are places where a black project or covert operation is executed, organized, or held. Locations can vary from an air force or other military base, plain library, a secret embassy wing to even a jet-plane itself. Some black sites do become known to the general public, although often as a modified limited hangout.
CIA/TortureUS foreign policy has made extensive use of torture since at least the 1960s, and continues to do so. Only since 9/11 has it been more or less openly admitted and have moves been made to try to secure legal justification.
Copper Green'Copper Green' was one of several codewords for a US Black Ops program, formed with the direct approval of the then Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, who reportedly told special access members to “Grab whom you must. Do what you want.”
Electroshockelectrocution of the brain
Mind controlMind Control aims to gain domination over the victim by making them cede their autonomy to the controlling person or group. Methods include lying, isolation, manipulation, indoctrination, electroshock, operant conditioning, coding / programming and "brainwashing".
Mind control/Child AbuseMind Control aims to gain domination over the victim by making them cede their autonomy to the controlling person or group. Children are especially vulnerable to spiritual, emotional, physical and sexual abuse.
Phoenix ProgramA clandestine CIA research project into the use of terror as a means of social control. Techhniques from South East Asia, were later developed in Latin America
Sensory deprivationA method of torture that leaves no marks on the body.
UK/TortureOfficially, the UK government has not approved of torture for a long time, and does what it can to prevent it being carried out. Various cases such as Binyam Mohamed's tell a different story, however.


Torture victims on Wikispooks

Shaker AamerThe last UK national to be released from Guantanamo Bay, where he was held for 13 years and subjected to torture after refusing to spy for MI5.
Jack Agazarian (WWII)UK spook of the SOE who was captured and killed in WW2.
Babar AhmadUS pressure had Babar Ahmad arrested and held for 10 years in UK, although he had broken no UK law. He was beaten up by UK police in 2003. A petition signed by 149,388 people did not prevent his extradition to US - with no evidence of wrong doing provided - a country where it is likely he has been tortured.
Moazzam BeggMoazzam Begg banged up in both Guantanamo Bay and HMP Belmarsh
Marc BennettPremature death of UK man in Qatar
William Francis BuckleyCIA Station Chief in Beirut, captured by Hezbollah.
Kiki CamarenaUndercover DEA agent who was abducted, tortured and murdered on assignment in Mexico in 1985
DilawarA taxi driver who was in the wrong place at the the wrong time. Tortured while in US custody and dead within the week. A leaked autopsy revealed "homicide", but the US authorities have not taken any action in this regard.
Khalid El-MasriKidnapped for months by the CIA after a case of mistaken identity. His lawsuit was dismissed on grounds of "national security"
Emad Abdalla HassanA person who was in the wrong place at the wrong time, sold to US for $5000 and has been subject to illegal imprisonment and torture in Guantanamo Bay for years. Cleared for release in 2010, he was transferred to Oman on June 13, 2015.
Kim Jae-gyuAs head of the KCIA he assassinated his boss, the South Korean president, Park Chung-hee
Omar KhadrA Canadian citizen who has nearly spent 1/2 of his life in military detention, after being arrested as a minor caught in a firefight in which several of his adult companions and a US soldier were killed.
Patrice LumumbaThe first democratically elected Prime Minister of the Republic of the Congo, abducted, tortured and murdered. Foreign intelligence service involvement is strongly suspected.
Binyam Mohamed
Khalid Sheikh MohammedOfficially, due to be tried in 2021
Baha MousaAn Iraqi civilian tortured to death by UK soldiers.
Abu OmarAn Egyptian cleric who was kindnapped in Milan by the CIA in 2003 and sent to Egypt where he was subject to torture.
José PadillaSubjected to Sensory deprivation for years before even being charged.
Gul RahmanKidnapped and tortured to death by the CIA.
Inês Etienne RomeuShe is believed to have been the only captive to survive detention in a Brazilian torture centre known as the Casa da Morta, "the house of death"
Rubén López SabariegoCuban bus driver tortured and killed at US naval base Guantanamo
Yunis Abdurrahman ShokuriHeld in extrajudicial detention in Guantanamo Bay
Aafia SiddiquiAmerican-educated Pakistani cognitive neuroscientist, tortured and raped for years by US forces, now serving a life sentence after a trial of a highly questionable nature.
Josef Trimpert
Eladio del ValleAn Operation 40 member involved in the JFK assassination.
Mordechai VanunuThe former Israeli nuclear technician who, citing his opposition to weapons of mass destruction, revealed details of Israel's nuclear weapons program to the British press in 1986.He was captured by Mossad, kidnapped and subsequently imprisoned for 18 years, including 11 years in solitary confinement. He continues to be subject to harrassment and forbidden to speak to foreigners or to leave Israel.
Abu ZubaydahA prisoner of the deep state, subjected to torture, denied legal process, still in detention for over 20 years.
Khaled al-Maqtari


Related Quotations

Mind control“The goal and end of Mind Control is to control and bondage the victim or survivor both during abuse and ritual and during 'normal life'”Ritualistic Abuse Consultancy
Sydney .
Mind control“Basically, what we as therapists across the country are finding are a group of clients that formally were considered untreatable, that based on recent information we're finding are reporting having been subjects in mind control experimentation performed by the government, the CIA and the military establishment ... probably from about the late 1940's until middle 80's and may even be going on today.”Valerie Wolf15 March 1995
Mind control“In late 2002, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld appointed General Geoffrey Miller to command Guantanamo with wide latitude for interrogation, making this prison an ad hoc behavioral laboratory. Moving beyond the CIA’s original attack on sensory receptors universal to all humans, Guantanamo’s interrogators stiffened the psychological assault by exploring Arab “cultural sensitivity” to sexuality, gender identity, and fear of dogs. General Miller also formed Behavioral Science Consultation teams of military psychologists who probed each detainee for individual phobias[...].”Alfred McCoy2006
Mind control“When torture is covertly practiced but officially and legally repudiated, there is still hope that if atrocities are exposed, justice could prevail. When torture is pseudo-legal and those responsible deny that it is torture, what dies is what Hannah Arendt called "the juridical person in man".”Naomi Klein2005
Mind control“The aims of the concentration camp as an institution are to break the prisoners as individuals, to spread terror among the rest of the population, and to provide the Gestapo with a training ground and an experimental laboratory. [...] The typical initial reactions are feelings of detachment: 'this can't be true … things like this just don't happen'.

The first few weeks are the worst; persons who manage to live through the transportation to camp and the first three months thereafter, have a fair chance of surviving. If the tortures become too intense, indifference takes the place of anxiety. Prisoners are particularly sensitive to punishments resembling those a parent might inflict upon a child. Prisoners' dreams rarely deal with situations of extreme torture but instead with comparatively smaller maltreatment. Group formation, especially around a hero or martyr, is very effectively prohibited by means of group punishments. For only a short time do the new prisoners direct their hostility primarily against their real enemy; in many cases it is soon turned against former friends or members of the family by whom the prisoners feel deserted. Old prisoners come to direct their hostility mostly against themselves. Gradually a regression to infantile levels take place, turning many prisoners into willing tools in the hands of the Gestapo.

In the phase of 'final adjustment', the strangest phenomenon of all could be observed: the prisoners' identification with the guards. Certain prisoners even tried to imitate the guards' uniforms, became cruel to their fellow-prisoners, partly accepted Nazi ideology. The author's conclusion is: What thus happens in an extreme fashion to the prisoners in concentration camps, happens also, in a somewhat less exaggerated form, to the inhabitants of the great concentration camp called 'Greater Germany'.”
Mind control“Mind Control is a system of influences which break the identity of an individual (his/her beliefs, behavior, thoughts and feelings) and replace it with a new identity”Steve Hassan1993
Craig Murray“Can I just say how pleasant it is to be vindicated ten years after being sacked by Jack Straw for opposing the torture and extraordinary rendition programme – which Blair and Straw claimed I was inventing.”Craig MurrayDecember 2014
Prison“Should Assange die in a UK prison, as the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture has warned, he will effectively have been tortured to death. Much of that torture will have taken place in a prison medical ward, on doctors' watch. The medical profession cannot afford to stand silently by, on the wrong side of torture and the wrong side of history, while such a travesty unfolds. In the interests of defending medical ethics, medical authority, and the human right to health, and taking a stand against torture, together we can challenge and raise awareness of the abuses detailed in our letters. Our appeals are simple: we are calling upon governments to end the torture of Assange and ensure his access to the best available health care before it is too late. Our request to others is this: please join us...”117 doctorsFebruary 2020
UK/Torture“we don't use torture because it doesn't work. Like the CIA we had to learn the hard way. In Northern Ireland, IRA terrorist suspects were waterboarded in the 1970s. Even using such techniques, it took time to overcome the subject's resistance and by then the intelligence gained was virtually worthless.”Harry Ferguson


Related Documents

TitleTypePublication dateAuthor(s)Description
Document:7/7 Terror and Tortureblog post7 July 2010Nafeez Mosaddeq Ahmed
Document:A Long History of America's Dark Sidearticle7 October 2010Peter Dale Scott
Robert Parry
Americans are encouraged to unquestioningly view their country and its soldiers as the "good guys" spreading “democracy” and “liberty” around the world. When the US inflicts death and destruction, it’s viewed as a mistake or an aberration. This article reviews the long history of these acts of brutality, a record that suggests they are neither a “mistake” nor an “aberration” but a conscious counterinsurgency doctrine on the "dark side".
Document:Child Soldier Coerced Into Plea-Bargainarticle7 October 2010Keith Jones
Document:Guantanamo SOP Confirms Psychological Torturearticle17 November 2007Julian Assange
Stephen Soldz
Standard operating procedures for military personnel running the Guatanamo Bay military prison confirm that the rules governing the treatment of its inmates amounts to systematic torture
Document:My CIA Renditionstatement17 March 2011Abu Omar
Document:Obama to Aid Uzbek Dictatorshipwebpage9 November 2011Stephen Zunes
Document:Secret detentions and illegal transfers of detainees involving Council of Europe member states: second reportwebpage11 June 2007Dick Marty
Document:The Rendition of Abu OmararticleAugust 2007John Foot
Document:Torture Inquiry must reveal the Trutharticle7 July 2010Peter Oborne
Document:Torture, Assassination and the American Way of Lifecommentary17 February 2012Jacob G. Hornberger
Document:Two letters from Guantanamoletter14 February 2014Shaker Aamer
Emad Abdalla Hassan
Two letters from Shaker Aamer and Emad Hassan sent on the ocassion of the 12th anniversary of the establishment of America's extra-judicial hell-hole at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba..
File:Children in Military Custody.pdfreportJune 20129 UK govt. appointed legal experts
File:EstablishingNewNormal.pdfreportJuly 2010American Civil Liberties UnionUnder the Obama Administration
File:Mendez-Chatham House lecture.pdfreport10 September 2012Juan Méndez
File:The Military and Halakhah.pdfpaper2006Dov Zakheim


Convicted of Torture

David Addington22 January 1957War criminalThe "most powerful man you’ve never heard of" (2006) who was an energetic supporter of torture under George W. Bush.
George W. Bush6 July 1946USPolitician
War criminal
Deep state actor
The 43rd US President, a bonesman, former oil businessman, now being pursued for war crimes.
Jay Bybee27 October 1953Lawyer
War criminal
Dick Cheney30 January 1941Deep politician
War criminal
Neoconservative deep politician with close ties to the MICC. Vice President 2001-2009, under George W Bush.
Alberto Gonzales4 August 1955Lawyer
War criminal
A "woefully incompetent" US Attorney General
William Haynes II30 March 1958Lawyer
War criminal
A counsel of the US Defense Department
Donald Rumsfeld9 July 193230 June 2021USPolitician
Deep politician
War criminal
Senior member of the cabal, former US Defense Secretary, got aspartame approved
John Yoo10 July 1967Academic
Deep state functionary
War criminal
The US lawyer whose name is now synonymous with the infamous "torture memo" which opened the door to legalising torture and lead to his conviction as a war criminal.


3star.png 17 July 2017 Robin  A thought provoking view on this topic.
Although far from complete, this page explains why torture is employed (not to gain reliable information, since it is not effective at this).
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