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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Bush Torture and Stalag 17


from Talking Points Memo
A British professor whose research on sleep was cited in one of the just-released Bush administration torture memos has expressed outrage that his work was used to justify extreme sleep deprivation, including keeping subjects awake for up to 11 days.

In an interview with TPMmuckraker, James Horne, a leading authority in the field of sleep research, said he was "surprised and saddened" to see Bush officials "misrepresent" his research to argue that such sleep deprivation does not cause serious harm to its subjects.

In the play Stalag 17, sleep deprivation is used an "enhanced interrogation" techniques against a character named Lieutenant Dunbar, an American officer accused of sabatoging a German train (for only 3 days in the American's case). This leads to an interesting exchange between a Geneva Convention representative and the German officer in charge of the interrogation:

GENEVA MAN
I want to talk about Lieutenant Dunbar. Is this Lieutenant Dunbar?

VON SCHERBACH
It is.

GENEVA MAN
What exactly is he charged with?

VON SCHERBACH
Whatever it is, it's out of your jurisdiction. This man is not a prisoner of war. Not any more. He is a saboteur.

GENEVA MAN
He is a prisoner of war until you can prove sabotage.

DUNBAR
I didn't do it. I was in the Frankfurt station and the train was three miles away when it blew up.

VON SCHERBACH
Oh, come now! You threw a time bomb.

DUNBAR
How could I have had a time bomb? They searched me when they took me prisoner.

GENEVA MAN
And the way you search your prisoners, it does sound rather unlikely.

VON SCHERBACH
All I know is he did it. I am satisfied.

GENEVA MAN
I am not. According to the Geneva Convention --

DUNBAR
Is there anything about letting a guy sleep in the Geneva Convention? [Dunbar shuffles over to the sofa, and plunks himself down -- instantly asleep.]

VON SCHERBACH
(to the Geneva Man)
You were saying --?

GENEVA MAN
Simply this. After the hostilities are ended, there will be such a thing as a War Crimes Commission. If this man should be convicted without proper proof, you will be held responsible, Colonel von Scherbach.

VON SCHERBACH
Interesting.

GENEVA MAN
Isn't it?

As Arte Johnson used to say on Laugh-In Verrry Interesting! Indeed

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