Brain Warfare The Covert Sphere, Terrorism .

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Brain Warfare The Covert Sphere, Terrorism .
« on: July 09, 2019, 07:36:27 PM »
On October 2, 2005, three months after the coordinated bombing of the London
transportation system and three days before the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly
approved John McCain’s Detainee Treatment Act, British Home Secretary Charles
Clarke attempted to explain terrorism via a specter of the Cold War. Islamic terrorists 
, Clarke argued, should not be seen in the “‘classic’ mould of revolutionaries
fighting for a political cause.” Rather, they are like educated youths “brainwashed”
into joining cults. Indeed, Clarke added, perhaps “anti-brainwashing techniques”
could be used to “deprogramme” terrorists—converting them back to productive
citizens essentially by running brainwashing protocols in reverse. 1

If this “Manchurian candidate” theory of terror illustrates the tenacity of Cold
War concepts in contemporary responses to terrorism, it also hints at the bizarre
persistence of brainwashing in the work of the covert state. What Clarke may not
have known is that the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA] was testing precisely
his idea—with much less therapeutic aims—in its interrogation of “high value”
terrorism suspects. The agency began with Abu Zubaydah, the man it erroneously
believed to be al Qaeda’s head of logistics. Shot and captured in Faisalabad,
Pakistan, on March 28, 2002, Zubaydah was flown around the world for three days
by different aircrews so that almost no one in American intelligence would know
his whereabouts. (This procedure—a Cold War counterespionage tactic—illustrates
the strange anachronism of so many elements of the U.S. war on terror. On the one
hand, al Qaeda hardly has the technological capability to track CIA rendition flights;
on the other hand, Zubaydah’s eventual destination—a secret Thai prison—would
be published only a few years later in one of Jane Mayer’s invaluable New Yorker
articles on President Bush’s program of “enhanced interrogation .  .

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