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The purpose of torture in war, like rape, is total psychological dominance. When the Bush administration instigated this egregious policy Americans barely raised a peep. We had become a nation of zombies. The Bush administration understood that we Americans, and Congress in particular, had failed the test of citizenship and they would be allowed a free hand over there, and over here. America had no courage to stop them. With the TSA groping, Obama is Bush-lite, which might even be considered worse.

The TSA’s Kafkaesque groin groping and full-porn scanning, championed by Obama’s lackluster Cheney, Joe Biden; Cheney-lite, enters the realm of dominance, intimidation and sexual threat and knowledge that goes to the core of total government control: totalitarianism. It is the sickly sister to torture; Drusilla, the undead - torture without the pain but with the humiliation and psychological disturbance and depersonalization and total dominance that is the essence of torture; torture-lite. It is the work of a government lost and disoriented like that in Kafka’s "In the Penal Colony"; a government sensing in a panic that its time in history is passing.

Originally posted to Bernie Quigley on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:05 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  This is snark? (10+ / 0-)

    Hmm no wonder torture is not understood for what is is, if you think groping is torture your missing its meaning by a wide margin.

    "Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." Arundhati Roy

    by LaFeminista on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:13:47 AM PST

  •  I beg to differ. (13+ / 0-)

    billybush is right.  Calling even an invasive search of one's person is not torture.  Torture is a different level altogether.  I am an expert on PTSD and have been so qualified in State and Federal courts.  An invasive or demeaning body pat down or search may trigger PTSD, but it is not torture.  

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

    by Otteray Scribe on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:15:36 AM PST

  •  Sheesh. I'm going back to bed. (11+ / 0-)

    What dreck.

    Don't tell me what you believe. Tell me what you do and I will tell you what you believe. h/t MeteorBlades

    by mdmslle on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:26:29 AM PST

  •  No, but this diary is! n/t (4+ / 0-)

    The most impressive thing about man [...] is the fact that he has invented the concept of that which does not exist--Glenn Gould

    by Rich in PA on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:41:04 AM PST

    •  Perhaps the diarist meant "torturous" instead of (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Hedwig, bushondrugs

      torture. The extensive pat downs may be very uncomfortable for some people, expecially those who are victims of sex crimes. In that sense, the level of apprehension and stress as well as invasion of personal space may feel "tortuous" indeed.

      By the way, the pilots of the airplanes have won the right not to be patted down. I guess they are above being suspected of terrorist activities.

      Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

      by 50sbaby on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 06:21:34 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I would hope so because they have the4 controls (4+ / 0-)

        so no bomb needed.  they are flying the bomb in effect

        Barack Obama: "These guys want to be paid like rock stars when all they're doing is lip-synching capitalism." may21, 2010

        by vc2 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 06:53:34 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I noticed Ailes (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tommymet, bushondrugs, Otteray Scribe

        bringing up NPR firing Juan Williams (there's a link...hold on :)) and the reason Juan had been fired was for stating that those in 'muslim' garb/that drew attention to the fact that they were muslim... on airplanes made him nervous.

        Uh, were any of the 9/11 hijackers in 'muslim' garb? Would that be a wise fashion statement to make for an actual terrorist? Wouldn't even those who active but not of arab descent want to look the least like a 'muslim' as possible? Be more concerned with the white guy in overalls than the woman in a Burka.

        And yes, it's lucky that we are 100% sure that no pilot needs to be searched...or blood tested for booze...and doesn't the same go for business travelers who have went through a process so they can bypass a lot of this?

  •  you working to privatize airport security? (7+ / 0-)

    i can always tell when the republican think tanks get some money or orders to work on privatizing some govt agency or function. usually limbaugh and hannity and bros and the local RW blowhards get talking points to chew on it for a while and it gets worked over on fox and then it spills into the rest of the media and then it even shows up on the lefty blogs and media, maybe with real concerns.

    but the real goal is to privatize airport security and all the great opportunities that offers for drug and gun running and discrimination and other authoritarian dreams. and it is happening.

    Progressives will lose all major messaging battles until they picket the limbaugh/hannity megastations and boycott those stations' local sponsors.

    by certainot on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:55:01 AM PST

  •  Bernie, you might want to try some damage control (7+ / 0-)

    by deleting this diary. It is hyperbole, inaccurate, misleading, and worst of all, trivializes what torture really consists of.  

    Just make it go away. Please.

    It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

    by Otteray Scribe on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 05:59:21 AM PST

  •  I don't plan on flying anywhere again. I'm glad (3+ / 0-)

    we flew to Europe 2 summers ago. I have a partial knee implant which set off the alarm when I walked through the scanner at O'Hare. I was then checked by wand in a plexiglas "room", so everyone could see. I didn't mind that.

    Interesting enough, I was never wanded, nor patted down in Europe. In fact, my knee didn't even set off the alarms.  I asked a security officer in Spain about it, stating I was worried that my knee would set off the alarm and delay my group as we needed to board the plane quickly.

    The security officer said not to worry, that they study people's behavior before scanning, patting down, etc. Apparently they are well versed in suspicious behavior and don't target "normal" people. They do not take the time to examine everyone with a knee, hip, or other metal parts in their bodies.

    I don't know what the answer is for U.S. airport security, but it was interesting how differently we were treated at French and Spanish airports.

    Liberal (from Webster's Dictionary): tolerant of views differing from one's own; broad-minded

    by 50sbaby on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 06:13:12 AM PST

  •  Bernie (4+ / 0-)

    with such a brief diary you've got an awful lot of fail here.

    As others have said you have trivialized torture. Calling Biden Cheny lite as about as far from the truth as one could get.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 06:38:07 AM PST

  •  The guy who called it child molestation got reced (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    lysias, tommymet, Hedwig, Dom9000

    This guy gets HRd.  Go figure.

    Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

    by Inland on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 07:02:42 AM PST

    •  False equivalence. (5+ / 0-)

      You are conflating torture with what, under other circumstances, could get you seven years in the slammer for child molestation.  

      If anyone--ANYONE--gropes a child's private parts, for ANY reason, to the child it is molestation or "bad touching."  It could leave some permanent psychological scarring to a child.

      Torture, on the other hand is the deliberate infliction of pain and suffering on another person. There is a lot of difference between having your "junk" groped and electrodes attached to them.  

      It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment. - Ansel Adams

      by Otteray Scribe on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 07:44:59 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Whose equivalence? (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Hedwig, Dom9000

        No, in the world of over the top hyperbole, torture makes more sense, since it's someone doing something so gaddam awful we can barely stand hearing about it BUT using an excuse of the greater good.

        But a child molester knows he's just pleasing himself. No excuses there.

        Yes, if I were to pick the less really idiotic and  inflammatory comparison, it'd be the torture.

        Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

        by Inland on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 08:06:50 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I disagree. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Otteray Scribe

          Torture is the deliberate use of psychological trauma in order to manipulate a subject to some desired outcome. Sure, the vehicle for that trama might be physical injury, but torture is a primarily psychological act.

          Child molesters have their own pleasure in mind, yes -- but it is still the better comparison. Sure, there are child molesters out there who get their rocks off through psychological manipulation, too, but touching a kid's junk qualifies no matter what.

          Please donate to HEAL Africa, and support HR4128.

          by rb137 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 08:37:41 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  But torturers have a justification in mind. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Dom9000

            Torturers are able to point to something they think is worthwhile....like greater air safety.  The end that justifies the means is not psychological trauma, and more than physical trauma.  The end that justifies the means is getting a person to say something conducive to, whatever, national security.

            That's why the TSA putting people through enormous physical and mental suffering in order to achieve security is more like torture.  They are doing it for the greater good.

            but touching a kid's junk qualifies no matter what.

            What about doctors? Like a doctor who touches a child to examine it for its own good, the TSA guy is doing it for the child's own good.  You can argue if a doctor or a TSA person has awful methods, but this bright line of touching children while there's something fuzzy about torture is wrong.

            Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

            by Inland on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 09:01:33 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  You certainly have a lock on over the top (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Otteray Scribe

              analogies.

              It's not correct to say that "torturers have a justification in mind". They are inflicting trauma to manipulate their subject to a desired outcome, as I said. There doesn't have to be a value judgement involved.

              What about doctor's? The issue here is the trauma that is inflicted on the child. Medical professionals -- good ones, anyway -- work hard to minimize this kind of trauma when giving invasive examinations. The encounter isn't limited to the exam, and the patient has the right to set boundaries for him or herself.

              You're talking about a case where the child has no choice -- his autonomy is taken from him (or her).

              Please donate to HEAL Africa, and support HR4128.

              by rb137 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 09:24:24 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I suppose levels of stupid aren't THAT (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Dom9000

                important, but the analysis is still correct, and important in this sense:  the purpose matters.  

                As for "working hard to minimize this kind of trauma", that's simply assuming the same bad intent as the child molester.  TSA officials have kids too, you know.  But you're saying they just like getting kids felt up for nothing.

                And does the child have any choice?  Fuck no.  She doesn't have a choice about the doctor, or the seat belt, or the shot, or the operation.  Parents make those choices.  That doesn't make either the doctor or the TSA child molestors.  

                If you're a parent, and you'd rather chance the terror attack that kills your child rather than have him touched, well, don't immunize him either.

                Yes, I'd give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety's sake!

                by Inland on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 11:18:36 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Stop it with the red herrings. (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Otteray Scribe

                  The only thing I said is that TSA groping is not equal to torture -- it isn't even in the same playing field. I never said that the people working for the TSA were child molesters. I only said that it was the better metaphor.

                  You turned the conversation to medical examinations, which I addressed in order to be polite. I don't have patience to follow up on every ridiculous red fish you can think to throw at this issue.

                  In the case of a medical exam, the child does have a choice -- and the parents have a choice. And it is the practitioner's job to provide these diagnostics without stripping the patient of autonomy or traumatizing them in a severe way.

                  How you got this:

                  As for "working hard to minimize this kind of trauma", that's simply assuming the same bad intent as the child molester.  TSA officials have kids too, you know.  But you're saying they just like getting kids felt up for nothing.

                  I can't imagine. That's pure eisogesis. And stop with the ad hominem, too. Your last statement is turning the argument against the man. That's hide worthy.

                  Please donate to HEAL Africa, and support HR4128.

                  by rb137 on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 11:53:58 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

          •  Desired outcome: submit to x-ray scanners (0+ / 0-)

            People are being coerced to submit to an unsafe, but highly profitable procedure by being forced to submit to an inhumane procedure if they refuse.

            The problem isn't limited to child molesters - sexual predators come in all flavors - there are plenty who get off on subjugating teens and adults. Sexual abuse is a power thing, not a pleasure thing. These people get off on having the ultimate power over others: and there's not much more powerful than having complete control over what happens to another person's genitals.

            Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

            by radical simplicity on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 03:37:51 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  No, it is intimidation. Torture causes permanent (4+ / 0-)

    physical disability and is accompanied with great physical pain (beyond discomfort). Please, don't water down the term torture to where it doesn't mean anything. It is an important concept and we will need it even more as the government becomes even more distanced from the population.

    I voted with my feet. Good Bye and Good Luck America!!

    by shann on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 07:18:36 AM PST

    •  It's not even intimidation. (0+ / 0-)

      It's unpleasant, maybe a little embarassing, but not torture, not intimidation, not anything near it.

      It seems to me that most of the complaining is coming from men concerned about their "junk." (What a silly term.)

      Gentlemen, let me introduce you to the stirrups. Lie down on your back. Put your heels in these two metal cups, designed so that your knees are now bent as much as possible and your legs are spread. (By the way, five minutes in this position and the muscles of your inner thighs will be burning like you've run five miles.) Now, have a man sit down between your thighs, stick his fingers up inside you, follow this by a metal device that spread your insides apart so that he can insert other devices....have I said enough?  It's called a pelvic exam, and your wives, sisters, mothers and girlfriends have been enduring these for years.

      So excuse me if I roll my eyes at the thought of your trauma if some TSA guy's fingers brush your testicles as he runs his hand up your leg looking for a patch of, say, plastic explosive taped to your inner thigh.  It's not fun, it's embarassing, but it's not goddamn torture!

      Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

      by Sirenus on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 07:45:11 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  The medical definition of torture (0+ / 0-)

      Definition of Torture

      Torture: An act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person, for a purpose such as obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation or coercion, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind. Survivors of torture often suffer from physical and psychological symptoms and disabilities. There may be specific forms of physical injury including broken bones, neurological damage, and musculoskeletal problems. Torture may result in psychological symptoms of depression (most common), post-traumatic stress disorder, marked sleep disturbances and alterations in self-perceptions together with feelings of powerlessness, fear, guilt and shame.

      The sexual violations are being used to coerce people into choosing the unsafe backscatter x-rays. It counts, from a medial perspective, as torture for many of those who are forced to endure it. Especially for people who have been sexually abused in the past, it can and does lead to an altered perception of self, including powerlessness, fear, guilt and shame.

      It may not be torturous for everyone who endures it, but you can bet your ass there will be many who suffer PTSD and other permanent psychological harm as a result. This is particularly cruel for people who have been through radiation treatments for cancer who are also survivors of sexual abuse. Those people are medically required to avoid x-rays, and now they are being forced to endure a near-rape experience instead.

      Since the procedure is inhumane and does NOTHING to keep anyone safe from terrorists, the fact that anyone is trying to justify it is astounding.

      These procedures are cruel, unnecessary, and ineffective.

      Shop Liberally this holiday season at Kos Katalog

      by radical simplicity on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 03:48:15 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Oh, for Pete's sake! (4+ / 0-)

    Equating someone giving you a pat down with torture?

    I don't like the current TSA system. No one likes the current TSA system and I'm willing to bet that includes 99 percent of the people who work for TSA.

    But this is getting ridiculous. The technology of death, sadly, has gotten to the point where a very small amount of explosive, say, a palm sized patch taped to someone's inner thigh, could blow a hole in the skin of an aircraft.

    So...suck it up, guys. Quit being so damn self-centered. I'm willing to bet that, despite your girlish fears, your basic TSA guy is not interested in your "junk." Only in what might be hidden around your "junk."

    Torture is torture. A hand-search is a hand search. Unpleasant, but in no way, shape or form torture!

    Freedom has two enemies: Those who want to control everyone around them...and those who feel no need to control themselves.

    by Sirenus on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 07:34:59 AM PST

  •  Excessive Airport Security (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    tommymet

    This absurd procedure is an affront to our 4th Amendment Civil Liberties.  At least for domestic flights, the "pat-down" procedures should be suspended immediately.

  •  Calling Biden "Cheney-lite" (4+ / 0-)

    is unproductive. The new TSA procedures are terrible, but this diary does not help.

    TSA = Transportation Sexual Assault

    by Anima on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 08:41:20 AM PST

  •  The future of the TSA: (4+ / 0-)
    Photobucket
    (All rights reserved)

    About the artist

    "War is a Racket" -- MajGen Smedley D. Butler, USMC

    by PvtJarHead on Sat Nov 20, 2010 at 08:46:50 AM PST

  •  the comments beat the diary (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Otteray Scribe

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