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Wed Mar 28, 2018, 10:33 PM

Its Time the United States Accounts for Its History of Torture

MARCH 28, 2018

by ARIEL DORFMAN

President Trump’s nomination of Gina Haspel to head the CIA has stirred objections from many quarters. After 9/11, Haspel ran an illegal black site in Thailand where a man was tortured, and she later wrote a memo calling for the destruction of proof of such “enhanced interrogations.” She has paid no price for these actions, nor has she been called to account for them.

As a native of Chile, I can attest to how difficult it is for a people to confront horrors committed in their name, how disturbing to acknowledge a monstrous past. But that hard work of reckoning is crucial.

In 1973, Salvador Allende, the democratically elected president of Chile, was overthrown by the military. During the 17-year dictatorship of Gen. Augusto Pinochet that followed, legions of Allende’s followers, accused of being terrorists and enemies of the state, were unspeakably brutalized in secret detention centers run by agents of Chile’s intelligence services. More than 3,000 prisoners were executed, and close to 40,000 were traumatized and scarred for life.

The majority of the perpetrators were men, but a large contingent were women. Some of those women worked in the bureaucracy that made possible the reign of terror, pushing paper or serving coffee and cookies. Some were directly involved in the kidnapping, torture and murder of the regime’s opponents. Just as cruel as their male counterparts, they proved especially efficacious in humiliating the detainees sexually and extracting information from them.

More:
https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/03/28/its-time-the-united-states-accounts-for-its-history-of-torture/

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