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A neuroscientist published a report this week on “enhanced and coercive interrogation techniques” like waterboarding and found that they don’t work, primarily because they cause so much stress, they actually impair memory.
“There is a vast literature on the effects of extreme stress on motivation, mood and memory, using both animals and humans,” writes Shane O’Mara, a stress researcher at Ireland’s Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience. “These techniques cause severe, repeated and prolonged stress, which compromises brain tissue supporting memory and executive function.”
An Australian comedy show recently infiltrated one of Torture Memos-author John Yoo‘s law classes at Berkeley, dressing up one dude as an Abu Ghraib prisoner, and, weirdly, Yoo didn’t waterboard the guy! The Bush Administration legal expert, who, in a 2005 debate, couldn’t find anything illegal or indefensible about crushing the testicles of a child, even offered his class-infiltrator time to leave before he called security!
Awww, what a softie. I bet he’s great with puppies and babies, too.
Filed under: Abu Ghraib, Asians Afflicted with White Man's Puff, Enhanced Interrogation, Fat Faces, John Yoo, John Yoo Torture Memo Author, Law Professors, Law School, Torture Memos, UC Berkeley, Waterboarding
Torture expert John Yoo has a new gig…as monthly columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer. In addition to yawn-y legal opinions, he’ll also be sharing his thoughts on how to commit war crimes and get away with them, how to re-brand waterboarding into an extreme sport and lobby to get it into the next Olympic Games, and how to rock a White Man’s Puff when you’re not white!
Perhaps you’re familiar with them. Track number one is a throwback: the debut hit from those wacky Romanian twins, The Cheeky Girls– “Cheeky Girls (Touch My Bum)”–which is a more mild mind offender, but perhaps the less elegant singalong song. Track two is a familiar piece for those of you who rock out to DDR and/or Sonic Superstars Tennis on your game consoles, or party down at carnival: Bellini’s “Samba de Janeiro.”
Here’s what’s wrong with this situation. I’m singing “sempre assim, em baixo, em baixo, em baixo, em baixo” in the shower. I’m humming Bellini’s synthetic horn tunes in bed at 3am when I can’t fall asleep at night. The words, “touch my bum… this is life!” slip out under my breath while browsing Crate & Barrel. I’m dancing to the silent extended dance mix while throwing down martinis at my local grown-up-folks’ wood-paneled bar.
At certain points over the last few days, I’ve felt I might die with these tunes on loop in my head. It’s really not good. It’s a mess. These songs were made to drive people insane, right? Fuck waterboarding!!
What I’m trying to say is, with these brain property-mongers in town, it’s really hard for anything else to infiltrate. I can’t hear music anymore, not in any lasting way. Not even “Take On Me” or “Tainted Love” or “The Beast and the Harlot,” which are always strong contenders for brain repeat.
So I am stunned to say that beatboxer Daichi, who arrived at my synapses via BuzzFeed this week, is making a pretty excellent play:
How I could possibly spend all day repeating a bass line that originated somewhere in this fine young man’s throat is beyond me. But it’s happening. And while I may sound ridiculous crab scratching while ordering tacos at the truck this afternoon, it’ll be a happy relief from all that bum touching I accidentally solicited while perusing brightly-colored kitchen bowls.