Communicator (communicator) wrote,

To the Bat Cave

Torture isn't a good source of information because it makes the victim repeat the fantasies of the torturer. We know this: the history of witch-torture was a continent-wide demonstration.

Here is part of an Adam Curtis documentary (the Power of Nightmares), which they have been discussing on Crooked Timber. That's a link to YouTube, move the timer to 20 mins 50 secs in.

Anyway, you don't have to watch it. It's Donald Rumsfeld describing what we 'know' about where Osama Bin Laden is hiding. Apparently he's in a secret underground bunker, and Rumsfeld shows a picture of it, done in cut-away, with arrowed captions. 'Bedrooms and offices on the top, here you can see the secret exits... and the main entrance here is wide enough to drive a tank in.'

This, as we may have suspected but now know for sure, was complete fantasy. The base did not exist. I do not know whether Rumsfeld derived this image from the testimony of tortured men, or if he and his friends just cynically made it up from nothing. Both seem awful and likely.

It's interesting though - what does this base resemble? It resembles Tracey Island, and Dr Evil's mountain lair and the hideout of the Fantastic Four and the Bat Cave.

I know torture is a serious issue, but it's also interesting to see the cultural subconscious which it externalises and reflects back at us. And we are so busy looking at this shadow that we have projected, that we don't see what is in plain sight.

  • Phew what a scorcher

    I see Gove has backed down on climate change and it's back in the curriculum again.

  • GCSE Computer Science

    My book is now for sale

  • LJ Settings

    At the moment I have set up this journal so that only friends can comment. I hate doing this, but I was just getting too much Russian spam.

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