Wednesday, December 10, 2014

All you never wanted to know about "rectal feeding"

Controversial 'rectal feeding' technique used to control detainees' behaviour | US news | The Guardian

 I'm sure I wouldn't be the only person greatly surprised that the CIA torture regime could include "rectal feeding".  Rectal re-hydration I thought possible, but feeding?   What's more - look at what was fed:
Officers also administered a “lunch tray” enema to Majid Khan that
consisted “of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins [that were]
‘pureed and rectally infused’”.
Bloody hell...

The Guardian article at the link, though, does give a detailed background as to the idea of inserting real, minced food  there for medicinal purposes.  It includes this bit:
When President James Garfield was shot by an assassin in 1881, he was kept alive for several days with enema infusions of “fresh beef, finely minced, in 14 ounces of cold soft water”, along with egg yolk and a bit of whiskey.
Not surprisingly, the idea was abandoned by just about everyone not into torture about 60 years ago, apparently.

Now, this post may well sound as if it is making light of an odd aspect of the report.

It's not meant to - the activities detailed in the report are truly scandalous, and I find it hard to believe that the "pushback" by past CIA figures is going to wash with anyone other than the nuttiest figures on the Right.  I get the impression that parts of the Right don't really know how to play this -  Breitbart is not giving it much prominence, and is simply running with a "CIA defends itself" story. 

Update:   this Slate article gives a good summary of the report and how the CIA got into the torture game.

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