“I am living this kind of depression”, “I’m not normal anymore.” These words are a reflection of the current condition of hundreds of people who were subjects of torture of the C.I.A.
This organization would have ever imagined that the torture methods that they inflicted to terrorism suspects could ever have long-term psychological harm. Well, they were wrong. After fifteen years, many cannot sleep or have a normal life anymore. These victims were imprisoned in many parts of the world: Guantánamo Bay, Cuba; Stare Kiejkuty, Poland; Vilnius, Lithuania; Bucharest, Romania; Kabul, Afghanistan; Chiang Mai, Thailand.
The person in the picture above, Lutfi bin Ali suffers from nightmares product of previous suffocation at a well as a method of torture. Other methods are and are not limited to: being traumatized by wild dogs inside a dark pitch jail, earsplitting music to assault the senses of a person, deprivation of sleep, being drench in ice water, being thrown into walls, locked in coffins, inflicted sensory deprivation, aggressive body cavities searching, being used as a human mop, and so on.
All these tortures have caused in the victims to experience permanent headaches, stress disorder, sleep disturbance, sudden changes of mood triggered by some elements in the environment, anxiety attacks, and other psychiatric problems. These people are marked for life. The most shameful thing about the situation is that people like Captain Shimkus knew that the level of torture was excessive, but he did not do anything. He said that his was conflicted between his medical duty for the patients and his mission duty as a soldier.
The worst of this type of C.I.A.’s practice is that many victims who were innocent were taken as prisoners as a result of mistaken identity or insubstantial evidence. Once released, the mental conditions of these people were in such critical state that their nation could not take any actions to bring them justice.
There are not limits for the damage that the C.I.A. could inflict in their victims. This is the case of Mr. Khadr, a 15 year-old child prisoner. American soldiers did not allow him to sleep, spat on him, and threatened with rape. He said that once because of fear he urinated during an interrogation. The soldiers took him and shake and hit his body as a human mop to clean the mess.
What is the American Government had to say about these atrocities? Read for yourselves: “There is no question that these tactics were entirely inconsistent with our values as Americans, and their consequences present lasting challenges for us as a country and for the individuals involved,” said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser.
Nothing really. I do not know the extent of C.I.A.’s atrocities. The disclosed information is probably just the peak of the iceberg that cannot remain hidden anymore. However, C.I.A.’s actions ruined the lives of hundred of victims. This is the case of Mr. Ben Soud, a person that cannot be longer a good father for his children because of the sudden changes of mood. His children get scared and asked if they did something wrong. He feels so ashamed to explain his situation and to even articulate the atrocities he had to lived, it is experiencing again the pain and horror that he wishes he could forget every day.
After reading this article, I wonder about the efficiency of the UN or the UNICEF. Their role is to protect victims of atrocities like this. At least, ensure that international laws and international human rights are not violated. Second and third world countries want to rely and look up to first world countries like the US. However, in these recent years the United States attitude and behavior has been utterly disappointing. What are your thoughts about the actions taken by the U.S government in regulating the C.I.A actions in these recent years?
Learn more about: “How U.S. Torture Left a Legacy of Damaged Minds”