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When the CIA says “sleep deprivation,” they mean forced shackling and forced positions, suspension, production of swelling in the lower extremities, disorientation and fear, humiliation, diet manipulation and slow starvation, along with forced wakefulness.(Firedoglake » Torture: What’s in a Name? It Was Never Just “Sleep Deprivation”)

This important post by Jeff Kaye (drawing on reporting from the LA Times and Washington Independent) establishes clearly why, as Kaye says, we must always write the term “sleep deprivation” in scare quotes. This is an important general principle of how “stealth” techniques (what Rejali calls “clean” tortures) work: even if discovered–and here we are having the absurd discussion of sleep deprivation as if it were not in and of itself a torture technique–they mask the violent regime performed to enact them behind the theatrical front of something so quotidian that a casual glance cannot recognize it as torture.

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