Here’s a fun game. See if you can tell what the following things have in common:
- Prolonged isolation
- Deprivation of light
- Extreme variations in temperature
- Death threats
- Shackling and manacling for hours at a time
- Noxious fumes that caused pain to eyes and nose
- Denial of medical care for serious and potentially life-threatening ailments, including chest pain and difficulty breathing, as well as for treatment of the chronic, extreme pain caused by being forced to endure stress positions, resulting in severe and continuing mental and physical harm, pain, and profound disruption of the senses and personality
Any ideas? I’ll give you a hint.
Imagine that you were taken somewhere and incarcerated against your will, without being accused of any specific crime, but just because it’s been decided that you’re a bad sort. You don’t get a trial, or any legal recourse, and you’re put through all the things listed above.
If you had to describe your ordeal to somebody else later, what word might you use? Just a one-word summary to really get across the scope of how much you’d been made to suffer. “I was… somethinged.” What’d be a good word to fit there?
If you said “tortured”, congratulations, you might just be a reasonable human being. But in this case, sadly, you’re out of luck. This is actually a partial list of “things that government officials could do to an American citizen and still claim later that they didn’t know they were ‘torturing’ that citizen.”
“Torture”? How dare you accuse the greatest nation on Earth of such barbarism? Why do you hate America?