I'm reading Naomi Klein's "The Shock Doctrine"...

A read I'd say that's completely on par with "The Slave Ship" and with "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" for me in terms of the sort of impact it's having.

I'm learning a lot about the roots of US foreign policy predating 9/11, Iraq and Hurricane Katrina. It's horrific. There are so many "choice" bits of information I don't know quite where to begin.

Continuing to think about madness and the construction of "sanity" there was a chapter called "The Torture Lab" which shows how experiments conducted right here in kkkanada lead to the formation of techniques probably still being funded by the CIA and propagated by organizations like the School of the Amerikkkas, taught to their students who then return home to Latin Amerikkka.

But the link between those horrific torture techniques and what is right now happening at Guantanimo Bay is crystal clear, too. (I just had a flash of that cutesy part in Michael Moore's "Sicko" where he takes that boatload of amerikkkan citizens over to Guantanimo Bay in search of supposedly better medical care and attention free of cost....I don't think he really wants the kind of medical attention prisoners are receiving at Guantanimo Bay).

The other thing is that kkkanada's stated and perpetrated role as liberal haven, gentle peace keeper is completely trashed in the very first few pages of this book. kkkanada's contribution in terms of setting the stage and amassing research into torture techniques was completely foundational.

Also, what amerikkkans, particularly lefties understand as the erosion of government programs and the rising cost of living, lack of health care, lack of food, having to choose between transportation or food or heat or paying other bills, is all explained by Klein as the immediate fall out from The Shock Doctrine, which is an economic and social school of thought that involves privatisin all government ministries, oppressing the poor, intimidating the public into silence, disappearing/detaining dissidents...

It seems that there is a way of understanding economics, called the Chicago School that completely explains exactly what the Bush administration is doing. They're not inept bumblers. They're actually bit by bit dismantling the government and amerikkkan society so as to create a clean canvas on which to build a new order that will completely erradicate the middle-class and bring in massive profits for the upper classes while putting the working and poor classes completely at the mercy of the military and big business.

Georgie isn't an idiot...okay, well, he still is...but he's a village idiot with a purpose. Him and his cronies are followers of a man called Milton Friedman.

The book is so layered, so intense. It's filling me up and once again transforming what I thought I understood.

Here's one choice bit of information about tests that were run on kkkanadians in Montreal during (I think) the 1950s...

The tests were more like deadly fraternity pranks than serious research,
and the results didn't provide the kind of scientific certainty the ageny was
looking for. For this they needed large numbers of human test subjets. Several
such trials were attempted, but they were risky: if word got out that the CIA
was testing dangerous drugs on American soil, the entire program could be shut
down. Which where the CIA's interest in Canadian researchers came in. The
relationship dates back to June 1, 1951, and a tri-national meeting of
intellignece agencies and academics at Montreal's Ritz Carlton Hotel. The
subject of the meeting was growing concern in the Western intelligence community
that the Communists had somehow discovered how to "brainwash" prisoners of war.
The evidence was the fact that American GIs taken captive in korea were going
before cameras, seemingly willingly, and denouncing capitalism and imperialism.
according to the declassified minutes from the Ritz meeting, those in attendance
- Ormond Solandt, chairman of Canada's Defence Research Board; Sir Henry Tizard,
chairman oif the British Defence Research Policy Committee; as well as two
representatives froim the CIA - were coinveinced that Western powers urgently
needed to discover how the Communists were extracting these remarkable
confessions. With that in mind , the first step was to conduct "a clinical study
of actual cases" to see how brainwashing might work. The stated goal of this
research was not for Western powers to start using mind control on prisoners; it
was to prepare Western soldiers for whatever coercive techniques they might
encounter if they were taken hostage.

The CIA, of course, had other interests. yet even in closed-door meetings like the one at the Ritz, it would have been impossible, so soon after revelations of Nazi torture had provoked worldwide revulsion, for the agency to openly admit it was interested in developing alternative interrogation methods of its own.

One of those at the Ritz meeting was Dr. Donald Hebb, director of psychology at McGill University. According to the declassified minutes, Hebb, trying to unlock the
mystery of the GI confessions, speculated that the Communists might be
manipulating prisoners by placing them in intensive isolation and blocking input
to their senses. The intelligence chiefs were impressed, and three months later
Hebb had a research grant from Canada's Department of National Defence to
conduct a series of classified sensory-deprivation experiments. Hebb paid a
group of sixty-three McGill students $20 a day to be isolated in a room wearing
dark goggles, headphones playing white noise, and cardboard tubes covering their
arms and hands so as to interfere with their sense of touch. For days, the
students floated in a sea of nothingness, their eyes, ears and hands unable to
orient them, living inside their increasingly vivid imaginations. To see whether
this deprivation made them more susceptible to "brainwashing," Hebb then began
playing recordings of voices talking about the existence of ghosts or the dishonesty of science - ideas the students had said they found objectionable before the experiment began.

In a confidential report on Hebb's bindings, the Defence Research Board concluded that sensory deprivation clearly caused extreme confusion as well as hallucinations among the student test subjects and that "a significant temporary lowering of intellectual efficiency occured during and immediately after the period of perceptual deprivation" Furthermore, the students hunger for stimulation made them surprisingly receptive to the ideas expressed on the tapes, and indeed several developed an interest in the occult that lasted weeks after the experiment had come to an end. It was as if the confusion from sensory deprivation partially erased their minds, and then the sensory stimuli rewrote their patterns.

A copy of Hebb's major study was sent to the CIA, as well as forty-one copies to the U.S. Navy and forty-two copies to the U.S. Army. The CIA also directly monitored the findings via one of Hebb's student researchers, Maitland Baldwin, who, unbeknownst to Hebb, was reporting to the agency. This keen interest was hardly surprising: at the very least, Hebb was proving that intensive isolation interfered with the ability to think clearly and made people more open to suggestion - priceless ideas for any interrogator. Hebb eventually realized that there was enormous potential for his research to be used not just to protect captured soldiers from getting "brainwashed" but also as a kind of how-to manual for psychological torture. In the last interview he gave before his death in1985, Hebb said, "It was clear when we made our report to the Defence Research Board that we were describing formidable interrogation techniques."


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