Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Secrecy, Complicity in a Torture Policy, The Rule of Law and the evolution into Atrocities

"Protection from embarrassment is not covered in our security laws"
- Canadian Federal Court Justice Simon Noel

TORTURE POLICY - "Enhanced Interrogation Techniques"

and some extracts from the book "The Nazi Doctors" - by Robert Lifton

"In the process of being improved, technology itself comes increasingly to dominate the perpetrators field of attention. Thus, the Nazis could reach a state of function in which ethics played no part - the word does not exist". The technology helps create a hermetic world in which everyone is motivated to help make things "work". And the preoccupation takes on a sense of everydayness, of normality"

"Genocide requires two groups of people: a professional elite that formulates and supervises the killing, and professional killers to kill"

THE TORTURE POLICY - USA - video from ABC Australia featuring John Yoo , one of the lawyers for the "Torture Program"

The "bad apples" - 2003 and Past Atrocities against a group- 1943

"Early perpetrators become a scientific and moral elite and form a spiritual
engine of biological necessity. The rest of the population is not deemed
ready for full knowledge; there is an ambivalence between secrecy tinged
with shame and pride of achievement as the genocidal radius moves outward
into an increasingly enveloping system of order and policy, of bureaucratic
and technological arrangement. That image of absolute revitalization
applied to both genocidal rehearsal and larger act. "

"The smaller genocide develops the technology, personnel and institutional structure. But the prior event does more: it provides a shared sense, notably among the elite, that it can be done; that one can move from relatively amorphous imagery of victimization and triage for the act of total murder; and that it seems to work - a problem is solved, there is a sense of achievement"

from the book "The Nazi Doctors" - by Robert Lifton - ("The Genocidal Threshold" Chapter)

Robert Jay Lifton, born May 1926, is an America psychiatrist and author, chiefly known for his studies of the psychological causes and effects of political violence and war. His studies of the behavior of people who had committed war crimes, both individually and in groups, concluded that such crimes do not require any unusual degree of personal evil or mental illness, and are nearly sure to happen given certain conditions (either accidental or deliberately arranged) which Lifton called "atrocity-producing situations". In order to "make things work", secrecy becomes the most important and fundamental ingredient of the professional elite's world where ethics plays no part.

The book "The Nazi Doctors" was the first in-depth study of how professionals rationalized their participation in torture, killings and in the atrocities of the holocaust.