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Outsourcing the Dirty Work

From American Samizdat:

The Iraq torture scandal just keeps getting worse. Much worse.

Contractors and the CIA are coming under close scrutiny for their role in all this, which should not be a surprise. The hallmark of this war has been the heavy dependence on private companies to provide just about everything.

And as for the CIA, torture is in their blood. Vikram Dodd points out in today's Guardian that we have every reason to believe that the operators of US detention centers are just following the same script that's been in place for over 40 years, the advice from two historic CIA manuals for "interrogation" -- one from 1963, the other from 1983.

The nature of these tortures (harnessing old women up to ride them like horses, glow-stick sodomy -- all that's wanting is rum and the lash to make the Brits feel at home) certainly fits the Tutor's characterization: This starts to look a lot like bondage, after all.

But of course, it's not really torture; the SecDef himself says so: "I don't know if it is correct to say what you just said, that torture has taken place, or that there's been a conviction for torture. And therefore I'm not going to address the torture word."

Consider, too, Rummy's response when first facing the press corps: 'We had reports before; we expected them. We've always known that terrorists alledge abuse when they're imprisoned, that's just something they do.'

Something interesting is happening to American power, and not just on the Other-World Street: "The Pentagon" is now despised by its generals (who were of course first despised by It), and the CIA has leapt eagerly back into the role of Creepy Spook (and Bondage Domme?); meanwhile, all the things that US soldiers and bureaucrats aren't legally allowed to do are now just done by contractors.

Memo to Libertarians: If you can afford to hire goons, you can do whatever you want. And there's a big and eager pool of folks just itching to get paid for rough trade.

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