Confessions of a Torturer
BACK AT FORT Gordon, Lagouranis says, “I lost my mind a little bit. Panic attacks, anxiety, insomnia, nightmares. I was shaking all the time. Plus I was really angry. I was being pretty insubordinate. After you come back they do a lot of patting you on the back and calling you hero and they are handing out medals to everybody, and I was like ‘Fuck you guys. Our mission over there was bullshit. Everything we did was bullshit.’ And they couldn’t really say anything to me—because I was right, first of all, and second of all they had all spent the entire time at Abu Ghraib, whereas I had been knee deep in dead bodies.
I saw barbaric traits begin to seep out of me and other good and respectable people—good Americans who never should have been put in that position to begin with. They have two choices—disobey direct orders or become monsters. It’s a lonely road when everyone else is taking the other one.
God may forgive this administration but I certainly will not.
son of parnas
March 4th, 2007 6:13pm
I was in a state prison for 3 years as a youth (possession). Nothing done at Abu Gharib is any different from what is done every single day in America do thousands of institutionalized men. The military guards are just doing as they learned from their work here.
If you are genuinely repelled by what you know of Abu Gharib, please become involved in the prison reform movement. Very few people support this work. Thanks.
March 4th, 2007 7:10pm
Putting people in prison for possession of mostly harmless substances is about as evil as the invasion of Iraq. It's very hard to reform a nation when perhaps more than half the electorate support evil policies.
March 4th, 2007 8:05pm
support? half the people don't vote and don't give a shit one way or the other and are simply not involved. of the remainer some support it, some oppose it, and some don't give a shit one way or the other. yes, tough to reform.
March 4th, 2007 8:16pm
If you look at the history of change, change doesn't happen when 'most' people get behind something. Change happens when 1-10% of people do.
Look at Iraq. Maybe 1/10 of 1% of the population is an insurgent. And yet it's all you hear about, how the insurgents are kicking the asses of the powerful US military.
The problems now are not that 50% of society won't get involved. The problems in the US are because only 1/1000 of 1/100 of 1% do.
March 4th, 2007 8:35pm
I bet 1/10 of 1% of Americans think that people busted for possession deserve the death penalty. Or least higher sentences.
Democracy - once you start slicing you may not like what you get, baby.
March 4th, 2007 9:45pm
It's like sausage that way.
Yeah, another red herring though since they don't believe passionately in death penalty for minor crimes, and a lot of people are passionately against the death penalty for everything, even murder.
The fact is that if the idealist people who say they care about stuff would do something, anything more than posting about it on the internet or shouting at their TV before popping their hypertension pills and antidepressants, things would change dramatically.
March 4th, 2007 10:41pm
OK, PE, what should we do, then? Call our congressman? Take to the streets with a picket sign? Blow up a building? What??
March 4th, 2007 10:57pm
let every 1/10 of 1% do whatever they want.
March 4th, 2007 11:29pm
Writing your congressman isn't a bad idea. Then see what he or she does. If he or she does nothing, campaign to get rid of them. Be informed. Know how much it is costing the taxpayers to keep people locked up for minor offenses that are harmless. Be aware of how modern industrialized countries deal with these sorts of things, and be aware of how backwards countries that are living in the middle ages deal with them. Be able to show that the US is backwards and has more in common with Taliban controlled Afghanistan than Denmark. Be able to explain this to other voters casually without getting crazy and sounding like a radical. Look like a normal person when doing so so people will think you have credibility.
March 4th, 2007 11:58pm
Hey, that's my JOB you're talking about.
March 5th, 2007 6:07am
That is very interesting that the last plantation farm in the south used negro slave laborers right until 1972.
March 5th, 2007 6:24am
"analysts say contract prison labor is poised to become one of America's most important growth industries"
That's pretty amazing. I never thought of the slavery angle before. We still have slave plantations filled with negroes and mexicans! They are rounded up for petty infractions, then chained up as slaves and forced to toil for decades for no pay, treated like animals, and kept in cages.
How the fuck is this not slavery?
March 5th, 2007 6:26am
Wow, Microsoft uses prison slave labor to stuff Windows CDs into boxes. Yeah, I'm sure that really gets the cost down. Those CDs cost a fortune and they are only charging $300 a license, how could they make a profit without slaves?
March 5th, 2007 6:29am
It's not slavery because you can't tell them who to have sex with, nor sell their children for a profit.
Some have said that enlightened slavery is actually superior to the abuses that wage-labor can have, especially in a non-Union environment, or an un-regulated environment.
Personally, I find that a much stronger accusation against wage-labor abuses than a good case for slavery.
How is that not slavery? Because they are not owned. Which is a huge distinction. It IS abusive labor practices, probably illegal abusive labor practices.
March 5th, 2007 11:24am
> Because they are not owned.
son of parnas
March 5th, 2007 12:50pm
Slaves were not really owned either. A signed deed doesn't make one owned. What makes you owned is a system of forces that give control of your life over to others. Being whipped or raped is irrelevant. A "nice" overseer who didn't rape you didn't make you any less a slave. Control is key and being a wage slave with few other options makes you controlled.
son of parnas
March 5th, 2007 12:58pm
Owned has never been the definition of slavery. It is about control, not ownership. In practice, owners have control under western property rights theory.
March 6th, 2007 12:26am
Might want to freshen up a bit by reading here:
"Slavery is a social-economic system under which certain persons — known as slaves — are deprived of their personal freedom and compelled to provide their labour or services."
Compare to the relatively rare concept of chattel slavery, and a few others:
"Chattel slavery is the absolute legal ownership of a person or persons, including the legal right to buy and sell them."
"Tax slavery is the absolute legal ownership of the ruler over a person's labour or income."
Tax slavery is what we have in the US. The US owns your income because income must be in dollars. It is illegal to barter in the US. If you do bartering, even of services, you must assign a dollar value to it and report it as taxable income. If you fail to do this, there is a penalty of 20 yrs to life for each infraction. Transactions in anything other than the US government owned and controlled dollar ARE illegal in this country.
"Serfdom (as last present in 19th century Russia) is generally defined as the ruler/landowner owning between a third and a fifth of a person's income."
And serfdom is something we have in most countries in the world today.
Slavery is legal in most countries today.
March 6th, 2007 12:30am