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Welcome to the Apocalypse

BDSM, #MeToo, Torture and the Drumbeat For War

In the dark, secret world of Gina Haspel, real torture is honorable. That’s not the case, when the acts are self-indulgent, “consensual” mock-torture of the sort Mr. Schneiderman claims he participated in. Schneiderman's actions sound quite decadent to me, but that’s the culture Americans have created for themselves. But should playing BDSM games to get your rocks off be on the top on the list as a reason an otherwise effective leader should be forced to resign. I’m actually really confused here. Real torture is OK if you wave the flag while doing it and you torture Muslim Arabs infuriated at the crimes of US militarism such as the totally unnecessary invasion and occupation of Iraq. Sure, one must defend oneself and intelligence gathering is important to do right. But why is it laudable to oversee water-boarding torture and things like the shoving of enema tubes up the anuses of Muslim Arab men, an act the New York Times called “medically unnecessary rectal feeding"? Why are acts likes this necessary? If it wasn't "necessary," then was it self-indulgent and sadistic? Did it amount to involuntary BDSM?

I have to confess, this stuff is over my head -- or as someone in the CIA might say, “over my pay grade.” One thing that this odd juxtaposition of stories makes clear is the #MeToo Movement is not a liberal or leftist movement. It’s totally bi-partisan, or more accurately, a-partisan. Like a lot of things, it’s about power. Who has it and what are they doing with it? In the case of torture, it's about intimidation, humiliation, busting balls. It’s a tool of power, not of truth-seeking. Writing and journalism are tools of truth-telling. And in the realms of power, women are just as susceptible to the righteous abuse of power as men are. Gina Haspel should make this eminently clear. It’s something that should not be forgotten in the rush to balance the books on men abusing women. And, let’s not delude ourselves, the period in question (following 9/11 and leading to the invasion of Iraq) when reason was tossed to the winds and massive violence was undertaken is happening again before our eyes as we face a militarist bum’s rush to go to war with Iran.

                                                                        Women’s Role in US Torture

There is an on-going, unresolved argument whether torture is effective. Those like Mr. Trump who enthusiastically advocate it assure us it works. They love it. While those opposed to it suggest it doesn’t work. It gives them the creeps. I’d say both sides are right: It all depends on what the purpose and goal of the torture is and, of course, whose ox is being penetrated or waterboarded. If the goal is to obtain facts, truth or accurate information, the consensus is torture doesn’t work. But if the goal is to obtain what the torturer wants to hear, then it seems it does work.

story | by Dr. Radut