Who are the real 'terrorists'?

... Europe and the US are the major manufacturers and exporters of torture equipment. The US particularly enjoys a brisk trade in torture technology. A chilling report for the European Parliament titled "An Appraisal of Technologies of Political Control" (1998), lists the police torture exports licensed by the US Commerce Department 1991-1993. Interestingly Yugoslavia was one of the very few countries of the world that did not appear as a customer on the list of 110 countries.

Every tin-pot dictatorship in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East and Europe was on the list, along with most of the more 'respectable' nations, including Australia. So much for humanitarian principles. US companies freely advertise thumbcuffs, thumbscrews, leg irons and shackles, whips, electroshock devices, suspension equipment, immobilisation guns, shock batons and even 'specially designed implements of torture'. And as noted, they don't care where they go. Business is business.

But that's old fashioned stuff. Research in torture technology and crowd control is booming in US nuclear laboratories such as Oak Ridge, Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos. Thanks to their research, the world's police forces already have available for 'crowd control' such devices as:

* ultra-sound generators which cause disorientation, vomiting, involuntary defecation, and disturbance to the inner ear thus causing loss of balance. Apparently the system which uses two speakers can target individuals in a crowd. Handy to nab the ring-leaders;

And that's just for starters. Among the exciting new toys for the world's police are:-

* human 'capture nets' which can be laced with chemical irritants, or even electrified to pack an extra punch;

* a foam-spreading gun with the fun name of "lick 'em and stick 'em technology" which glues people's hands and feet to the footpath;

* foams with pepper spray;

* blinding laser weapons;

* microwave and acoustic disabling systems.

Research & development in the US and Europe is directed towards developing more efficient 'mark-free' interrogation and torture techniques and technologies. These 'technologies' have been developed for crowd control, but Amnesty International is not alone in claiming they are being used for torture. In any case, nothing better illustrates the tyrannical nature of most governments than the fact they plan to use such crowd control systems on their own citizens.

And they do. Under the guise of prison discipline, the US tortures its own citizens according to the previously mentioned report which documented the use of the Remote Electronically Activated Control Technology (REACT) stunbelt on US prisoners. The belt can be activated from 300 feet away and inflicts a 50,000 volt shock for 8 seconds. The high-pulsed current enters the prisoner's left kidney and travels along the blood channels and nerve pathways. As targeted prisoners lose control of bladder and bowel functions, the makers proudly promote the belt for its "total psychological supremacy" of prisoners. Indeed. The prospect of being made to involuntarily defecate and urinate in public is not something most people would risk ...

As of 1996, sixteen US state correctional agencies had obtained these appalling and degrading devices. Stun Tech of Cleveland Ohio wants the belts introduced into the chain gangs of Alabama, Florida and Louisiana. Yes, even in Virginia, the 'humanitarian' US has re-introduced chain gangs too. There's not much in the mainstream media about that either.

Because of its massive incarceration rate, the US increasingly 'warehouses' its prisoners in huge complexes. With the privatisation of prisons, cost constraints are paramount and simple control has increasingly replaced any idea of rehabilitation. Judge Thelton E. Henderson reported that prison officers at the huge Pelican Bay prison in California -- with a population of 3,000 inmates -- routinely assaulted prisoners in their cells with batons and high voltage taser guns. They also chained them in 'fetal restraints' -- wrists bound to ankles -- for 22 hours a day. This happened as recently as 1995. This brutality was even encouraged by the prison management as effective in maintaining discipline.

US prisons also use drugs for immobilising inmates -- and for testing. In the trade this is called 'liquid cosh'. The drugs range from tranquillisers and anti-depressants to powerful hypnotics and drugs which produce fear and pain which are used in 'aversion therapy' to induce behaviour modification. The report noted that US prisons are the "new laboratories for developing the next generation of drugs for social reprogramming". The pharmacology labs of the universities and the military produce "scores of new psychoactive drugs each year".

The EU parliament has expressed concerns that with the increasing privatisation of prisons in Britain and Europe, such alien 'management' techniques will replace the Europeans' more benign approach. They fear that big US consortia will take over the running of prisons worldwide, and that subsequently there will be very little government scrutiny of their operations ...

This and more are all coming your way via so-called Anti Terrorist laws, GATTS and other measures soon to be finalized. Are you still sitting on your hands?

(Reprinted extract from "Propaganda, Hypocrisy and the Torture Trade", Antonia Feitz, 23/6/99)