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April 20, 2009

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Under these circumstances, the ‘body’ copes well, whereas the brain and behaviour are obviously affected – not only by sleepiness but by more subtle changes whereby individuals can no longer think for themselves and become more like automatons.

...

Even if one was to be pragmatic and claim that this form of sleep deprivation produced ‘desired results’, I would doubt whether the state of mind would be able to produce credible information, unaffected by delusion, fantasy or suggestibility.

However, if your desired results did not require credible information, creating automatons who are prone to suggestibility may be a desirable outcome.

for sharing thank you very mach good very beautiful work

I spent 6.5 days awake once. Won't say how. When I woke up I had amnesia for about 30 minutes. Couldn't even remember my own name. 'Twas bizarre.

Fraud Guy: However, if your desired results did not require credible information, creating automatons who are prone to suggestibility may be a desirable outcome.

Bingo.

All of this is further proof that the Bush Administration was only concerned about the ends justifying the means.

Meanwhile, today's news that Bush's C.I.A. used waterboarding as casually and as often as most of us use a remote while watching television makes me question the agency's competence.

The NYT story that I linked states: "The 2005 memo also says that the C.I.A. used waterboarding 183 times in March 2003 against Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the self-described planner of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks."

Set aside, if you will, any debate about the ethics or criminality of waterboarding itself, what I wonder about is what kind of mind would think if it did not get the desired result after, say, the 33rd time would do it another 50 times -- and then another 100 after that.

Furthermore, if this doesn't fit the very definition of torture, I don't know what does.

Thank you for doing the extra work and letting Professor Jim Horne elaborate on what his research really says, hilzoy.

"I had no knowledge of this memo or its contents until a few days ago, and am both saddened and appalled that my book has been used in this way."

Thinking about this last night after I posted, I have a question for the lawyers among us: Does Prof. Horne have a legal case against the Bush Admin -- which would be the United States government, I guess -- for misrepresenting his findings in such important documents?

Seems to me the Bush Admin displayed a willful disregard for the truth and, in doing so, may have harmed Prof. Horne's reputation.

Have we had a discussion about whether or not murder, bank robbery, rape, black mail, or a whole host of other illegal activities “work”?

Work for whom?

If something is illegal there is no valid discussion of this type.

The on point discussion on this matter needs to be about “has the office of the AG been once again subverted”:

Independent US AG Mandatory For Justice

bedtime: I suspect not. -- I mean, I suppose it would have to fit under libel, or something like that -- there is, thank God, no general law saying you have a cause for action for stupid interpretations of your work. (George Will counts on this when he writes his climate change pieces.)

It's awesome that he wrote you back and thanks for posting his answer.

It must be INFURIATING to have your research misrepresented like that.

As Orwell said, the ends do not justify the means in modernist thinking; to quote: "the means justify themselves provided they are dirty enough."

I consider it useful to think of this in two ways. First, consider what the torture advocates have done to themselves: they have embraced the dark side, embraced the desire for power and cruelty, embraced the desire to harm and degrade other people. But these choices, for good or ill, come with consequences. Dick Cheney talked of going to the dark side as though he proposed a shortcut home from work, an absurd conceit.

Secondly, consider what they have tried to do to the American people. They have cast Americans as poltroons, gibbering with terror and willing to embrace any atrocity to keep their skins whole. But nothing, not torture, not an unthinkable arsenal of terror weapons, nothing can ever keep a poltroon safe enough. Sooner or later, the terrorists will find a credible threat they can use against Americans, and those who have once thrown aside their willingness to die, if necessary, for a principle will find they can no longer hold to that principle when a threat comes around the torturers can no longer promise them safety from. And what will they do then?

If anyone missed it, Wired Mag just did a big write up on this.

"Seems to me the Bush Admin displayed a willful disregard for the truth and, in doing so, may have harmed Prof. Horne's reputation."

Setting aside the doctrine of sovereign immunity, I fail to see how secret documents could be said to harm someone's reputation.

IANAL, but libel -- which I can't see how this could be, anyway -- can't be top secret, rather obviously and definitionally.

What law, exactly, do you suggest would have been violated here?

"Seems to me the Bush Admin displayed a willful disregard for the truth"

People do this on this blog every day, as well as it being done literally tens, if not hundreds of million times, in this country every day. There's no law requiring people to speak truth, is there?

"...in doing so, may have harmed Prof. Horne's reputation."

How does a secret document harm someone's public reputation?

And, anyway, sovereign immunity can't be put aside.

"Does Prof. Horne have a legal case against the Bush Admin -- which would be the United States government, I guess -- for misrepresenting his findings in such important documents?"

So, IANAL, but I think the answer is no, no, and no, for three separate reasons.

"If anyone missed it, Wired Mag just did a big write up on this."

YM an entry on Noah Shachtman's Danger Room blog, not Wired magazine. And it's not big, but short, around 1100 words.

Good to see the link to Hilzoy's piece, though, among other notable cites.

Rachel Maddow also mentioned it (and thanks to matttbastard for letting me know, so I could catch it on the repeat.)

Good to see the link to Hilzoy's piece, though, among other notable cites.

As well as increased coverage of Doctor Horne's position...

"it's not big"

I probably can't argue with you, but it seemed big to me, it being on Wired's front page and above the fold, blog or no.

italics off

I think waterboarding KSM every four hours for a month was partly done for sleep deprivation purposes.

"I think waterboarding KSM every four hours for a month was partly done for sleep deprivation purposes."

This makes as much sense as saying shooting someone was done to get a blood sample.

To put someone through sleep deprivation, all that's necessary is to keep waking them up. Waterboarding is hardly necessary.

Not sleeping can be hell. When I was in college I had gotten so stressed that I wasn't able to get any more than an hour, or two a night for about two weeks. I didn't sleep at all the last 3 days, before my body and brain completely shut down. I was going to class and I started to see things that were most definitely not there, I had auditory, and visual hallucinations. Anyone who says sleep deprivation isn't a form or torture hasn't been awake long enough to realize the full effects.

When I was but a lad some four or five decades ago, I read about some psychological research that being sleep deprived--and blocked from dreaming--for even 72 hours can initiate psychosis. This is not news, but it underscores what was written in the article, that the "efficacy" of all the torture methods in use was intensified by the program of sleep deprivation.

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