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News :: Human Rights
Hate Is Not A Family Value
12 Apr 2010
"The news that the United States tortured prisoners in the war on terror has brought shame to the nation, yet little has been written about the doctors and psychologists at these prisons. In Oath Betrayed, medical ethics expert and physician Steven H. Miles tells how doctors, psychologists, and medics cleared prisoners for interrogation, advised and monitored abuse, falsified documents—including death certificates—and were largely silent as the scandal unfolded. This updated and expanded paperback edition gives newly uncovered details about the policies that engage clinicians in torture. It discusses the ongoing furor over psychologists' participating in interrogations. Most explosively this new edition shows how interrogation psychologists may have moved from information-gathering to coercive experiments, warning all of us about a new direction in U.S. policy and military medicine—a direction that not so long ago was unthinkable."
Hate is not a family value

Political violence destroys the lives of individuals, families and communities. The systemic pressure exerted by local police officers and community members willing to abuse power for personal gain knows no boundaries. As a result, the highly organized machinery of local torture/harassment squads seems insurmountable.

You would think that a tortured political prisoner would be afforded a semblance of dignity, respect, perhaps even restitution. Sadly this is not the case.

Frequent traumatizing events orchestrated by cruel, apathetic, health care workers, service providers, and police officers are symptoms of a greater problem which society refuses to face.

It goes without saying that a system of government willing to perpetrate torture will attempt to avoid the embarrassment, financial accountability, and responsibility of making amends.

The Aftermath

Perpetrators continue to harass long after the political prisoner has been released from prison.

Legal, health, police, social service departments and food banks regularly re-victimize through displays of passive-aggressive and overt contempt.

To the survivor of torture, daily living is an ongoing challenge.

Survivors are often re-victimized or “punished” simply for requesting respect, dignity, privacy, kindness and truth.

The undisguised pleasure taken by community members who appear determined to inflict pain, is without shame or remorse. Survivors routinely experience unthinkable horrors and indignities at the hands of diabolical service providers, physicians, and law enforcement personnel.

Denial of service or substandard service is a common form of retaliation. Ruined food, unflattering haircuts, over-charges, and impolite, disparaging treatment are but a few of the indignities which torture victims are required to endure.

This is not feigned incompetence this is purposeful abuse.

"Running" a victim or orchestrating a series of service denials is a recurrent form of government/union/police retaliation.

Purposeful synchronized abuse is designed to "break" human beings. The pigs who participate in these assaults are hoping to provoke a public breakdown and thus discredit the target.

They ignorantly presume that a diagnosis of mental illness will absolve them of liability.

With the goal of personal destruction in mind, abusers will stalk and harass a victim for years until she either collapses in exhaustion or succumbs to a stress related illness. And eventually, we all collapse.

Unfortunately, the abusers grow addicted to harassing the target so they will wait for her to recover. And if she is fortunate enough to recover, the abuse and harassment will start again with renewed enthusiasm. Clearly the perpetrators experience a gleeful, sadistic pleasure at the expense of the victim.

Please try to imagine the pain, frustration and anguish of knowing that your pet or child needs health care, and being refused or mistreated by unkind, brainwashed peons who have been instructed, bribed, threatened or coerced into providing sub-standard care or no care at all.

Those dependent upon public assistance report illegal benefit cuts and denials. Purposeful theft at the hands of clueless grocery store clerks is yet another dirty trick commonly perpetrated by the "goon squads".

Adding insult to injury, social service agencies and food banks regularly "gift" poverty stricken survivors with outdated, moldy, inedible, toxic food. (I have found insects, hair, and human mucus in restaurant food on numerous occasions.)

Medical malpractice is a universal experience of torture victims. Dr. Steven Miles describes this terrifying trend in Oath Betrayed, America's Torture Doctors.

"The news that the United States tortured prisoners in the war on terror has brought shame to the nation, yet little has been written about the doctors and psychologists at these prisons. In Oath Betrayed, medical ethics expert and physician Steven H. Miles tells how doctors, psychologists, and medics cleared prisoners for interrogation, advised and monitored abuse, falsified documents—including death certificates—and were largely silent as the scandal unfolded. This updated and expanded paperback edition gives newly uncovered details about the policies that engage clinicians in torture. It discusses the ongoing furor over psychologists' participating in interrogations. Most explosively this new edition shows how interrogation psychologists may have moved from information-gathering to coercive experiments, warning all of us about a new direction in U.S. policy and military medicine—a direction that not so long ago was unthinkable."

Death threats, threats of more torture to come, mail tampering, pet murders, public crowding, and regular home invasions are examples of the violations which the survivors of political torture are forced to endure. These are the illegal acts of cowards intent on retaliating in order to intimidate and punish the victim for “telling”.

Guiding principle for healing

The entire community must pull together and refuse to be intimidated, bribed or coerced into participating in abuse.

We must unite in order restore a sense of peace and trust. Abuse is never acceptable. Lies and denials are only believed by perpetrators. Truth, kindness, and a return to civility are essential. (I will never comprehend the hypocrisy of abusive cops who are willing to lay hands on an innocent women in hatred, subsequently appearing at Sunday services.)

Recommendations for healing traumatized torture victims and communities:

• Torture survivors may never completely heal. It is impossible to “un-torture” someone.

• Torture survivors are often excluded from culturally appropriate, therapeutic, and rehabilitative events. Include survivors of torture and treat them with kindness and dignity.
• Torture survivors are often denied social and legal services because of a culture which seeks to “sweep the embarrassing systemic failure under the rug”. This complicates and stunts the healing process. Include torture survivors.
• Repair the social system that often re-victimizes torture survivors and blames them for the actions of perpetrators.
• Provide financial, legal, and therapeutic assistance. The victim is NEVER at fault.


Trauma of Displacement


• Torture victims often experience deep grief. Grief for the loss of innocence, dignity, autonomy and trust of the benevolence of their environment. Grief for the loss of financial security and peace of mind and grief for the loss of family, friends, and pets.
• Torture survivors consistently struggle because they are purposefully deprived of basic needs. Without food, shelter, clothing, privacy, dignity, and respect, healing is impossible.
• Re-opening of wounds: Torture survivors are continually re-victimized by those who maliciously seek to trigger. Unkind neighbors and family members regularly dwell on inappropriate subject matter hoping to further humiliate, intimidate, demean, and degrade the torture survivor.
• Torture survivors are often re-victimized by the morbidly curious. Those intent on profiting from the survivors story or experience add insult to injury. Offer to provide financial, legal, and therapeutic assistance.
• Torture survivors are often financially devastated prior to being kidnapped. This grief and helpless is intensified when the victim's government, community and families are responsible.

Symptoms of a sick society

• Lack of social support as a result of systemic re-victimization creates trauma in the life of those who have already endured the unspeakable.
• Torture survivors may appear aloof or anti-social. This is because they are afraid. Torture victims have endured the unspeakable at the hands of those whom they have been counseled to trust. Need I say more?
• Torture survivors will often times avoid conversations, activities, places, or people because the abusers continue to interfere and re-traumatize. Please refrain from following or provoking torture victims.
• Torture survivors will often withdraw socially because of exhaustion and poverty resulting from the continuing abuse, and harassment.

Re-traumatizing Events

• Cruel passive-aggressive, dishonest, abusive slander and libel.
• Lack of social or financial restitution.
▪ Community apathy and hostility.
• Degradation and depersonalization.
• Increased isolation and vulnerability fostered by systemic abuse.

Emotional challenges facing torture victims

• Personal detachment.
• A desire to move beyond the trauma; reliving it re-opens wounds and stunts the healing process
• Difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep because of anxiety.
• Irritability or increased anger exacerbated by ignorant abusive community members. Please refrain from following, crowding, or provoking torture survivors. Many survivors are subjected to impromptu theatrical performances by flash mobs. This mobbing and crowding behavior appears bizarre and abnormal. Flash mobbing is a form of bullying and should not be tolerated.
• Difficulty concentrating facilitated by the constant interference of unhealthy community members who have been lied to by the police.
• Hyper vigilance.
• Generalized anxiety.
• Diminished attention, concentration, and memory.
• Thoughts of death and dying, suicidal ideation in cases were help is not available because of a system that is more concerned with avoiding the embarrassment and financial toll of accountability.
• Personality change, people who were once bubbly and trusting become withdrawn and afraid due to repeated abuse
• Depression; feelings of being forsaken by God and country.
• Poverty.
• A sense of impending doom caused by continuing abuse, lack of support and denial from government systems, ex-spouses, family and community members. No one is ever willing to admit that their actions contributed to the torture of an innocent.



© Shawnna Armstrong and the Starfishgirl Anti-Stalking Campaign, (2004-2010). Unauthorized use, alteration or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog's author and/or owner is prohibited. Excerpts and links may be utilized provided that full and clear credit is given to Shawnna Armstrong and Starfishgirl with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. That is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant. ~Martin Luther King Jr
See also:
http://starfishgirl-tortureinamerica.blogspot.com

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