Added: Rashaud Buxton - Date: 29.12.2021 19:55 - Views: 35547 - Clicks: 553
Consider our 'forgetfulness' regarding the nature of electric stun technology. We all remember how badly Rodney King was beaten by the L. A mythical story of the origin and diffusion of electric torture is endlessly repeated in movies, cheap novels, and uncritical accusations. However, another story of electric stun technology manifests itself in grey patent documents.
In these, accumulate the various devices created for the convenience of a democratic public: for the consumption of meat, for personal safety in the dark, and for airline safety. These devices are portable, discharge shock at the discretion of the user, and the shock does not normally kill. At the extreme is a range of 'acceptable' torture devices such as tasers and stun guns found in our everyday life. The spread of electric torture is part and parcel of the spread of democratization. In an age where globalization is linked to abuse and exploitation and democratization is touted as the province of all that's right, it is striking to see that electric torture is more linked to the latter than to authoritarian regimes.
It arises Electro torture stories spre as police forces reinvent themselves in the face of democratization and international human rights scrutiny and as well-to-do democratic consumers increasingly fear for their security. Let me demonstrate this by sketching a lost history of a torture technology, investigating its invention and diffusion over the course of a century across the globe.
InThomas Edison endorsed the use of the electric chair to a New York State commission investigating alternatives modes of capital punishment. InNew York electrocuted William Kemmler after the Supreme Court had rejected his plea for a different mode of execution, determining that electrocution was not cruel and unusual punishment. Inthe U. Supreme Court ruled that shining bright lights into the eyes of a suspect during interrogation constituted torture, thereby outlawing a practice common since the s. Today, many are still concerned about whether electricity can truly kill painlessly and under what conditions the use of electricity might be Electro torture stories torture.
But what is important for my purposes is that at the dawn of the age of mass electrification, electricity was given a legal place in law enforcement, and this was portentous. Although the U. The electric chair is not the source, however, of stun technology.
Executioners ask what constitutes sufficient Electro torture stories discharge to kill someone instantly while electric stun technology reverses this question: what is the maximal amount of shock and pain that can be delivered to stun the victim without causing death? Stun technology, used in torture, has specific requirements. The torturer's electric device has to be flexible, delivering electricity to the body at different points, and ideally, also portable. It applies shock directly to the prisoner, regulating the charge as needed, and allowing the torturer to trigger each level of shock at his discretion.
Two devices, both in use in thes, had these characteristics: the Argentine picana electrica and the Italian invention of the Electro-Convulsive Therapy ECT device. The ECT device was invented in the early s by Drs. Cerletti and Bini, two Italian psychologists who worked with schizophrenics. It consisted of a voltmeter and a device for fractionating the electric charge into tenths of seconds.
The shock carried was approximately the power needed to power a light bulb, volts. The charge was delivered to the head. Today, there are six types of ECT devices that deliver between and volts. However, ECT devices are not the ancestors of electric stun devices. The shock they deliver is actually too meager; modern electric stun guns deliver between 50, volts.
The importance of ECT lies elsewhere. Unlike American electrocutioners, Cerletti wanted his patients to survive. Having killed a few dogs by experimentation, he was hesitant to use human models. InCerletti's doubts vanished when he discovered that Roman slaughterhouses used electrocution to slaughter pigs. Experimenting in the slaughterhouses, Cerletti discovered that pigs could be shocked several times and would revive after a few minutes.
Thus reassured, he applied ECT to schizophrenics.
Cerletti's monograph was circulated in and bytwo English surgeons had developed the -Russell technique of applying powerful multiple shocks. By, patients, it is estimated, were treated annually in hospitals and asylums. Cerletti and Bini had shown that humans could survive powerful multiple shocks. The torture and "treatments" of the insane as also such application to animals in abattoirs, ranches and the like are critical to any historical consideration of human torture.
Neither the development of the ECT machine nor the picana were conceivable outside the enormous growing mass consumption of meat driven by the greater purchasing power of consumers. The patent record also shows the interpolation of animal and human stun technology: a new kind of cattleprod was used as the basis for a new kind of stun gun, a new kind of stun gun handle was then reused for a better stockprod. Electro torture stories same patent string included prods, grips, canes, flashlights, forks, guns and batons.
The Argentine picana electrica had humble origins. ByWeinberger and Muller developed a stun device for pig slaughterhouses at the University of Munich. In Argentina, the picana electrica replaced the barbed picana. Init entered into police work in Buenos Aires and little has changed in its usage since that time. Victims are strapped to a wooden table and wetted down to aid the current. The prod operator applies the wand to sensitive parts of the body Electro torture stories, temples, mouth, genitalia, breasts while the machine operator works the bobbin, raising and reducing voltage.
The victim often bites on rubber or lead to make sure that the tongue is not bit off during the shocks. Usually, a doctor is present to make sure that the victim has no heart problems and can survive the interrogation. Other s indicate a doctor keeps tabs on the pulse of the victim during the interrogation. The electrical picana operates on direct current but it can be plugged into the wall socket of the victim's home with the aid of a transformer. It is transported in a suitcase and usually powered by an automobile battery.
The sleeve is insulated and the bronze or copper tip applied to the body. The voltage of the first picanas varied between and volts with a thousandth of an ampere. This voltage is modest by comparison to modern tasers, but it is the low amperage that allows the repeated use of shock without killing the victim. The picana electrica combines portability, flexibility and low amperage. It is also cheap. In this sense, it qualifies as the first electric stun technology although as an invention, Electro torture stories never found a market.
There is no evidence that the picana electrica was used in any police force outside of Argentina until the s when police in Bolivia, Paraguay and Uruguay also adopted it. But that is where the diffusion of this innovation stops.
Oddly, the Chilean police under Pinochet, no strangers to electric torture, did not use the picana during the s.
In fact, between andno device similar to the picana was used for electric torture. This does not imply the absence of electric torture, merely that other devices and innovations were involved. The same cannot be said for Cerletti's device which was very rapidly pressed into political service. During World War II, a chief CIA psychologist advised John Foster Dulles that "each surviving German over the age of twelve should receive a short course of electroshock treatment to burn out any remaining vestige of Nazism.
It funded the work of Dr. Cameron in Montreal who used electroshock therapy to see if he could reprogram his patients. Similar reports come from Britain in the s and s, where ECT devices were applied, without anesthesia, to Electro torture stories. Yet, despite their diffusion, the use of ECT machines in police torture remains quite rare. While there is some anecdotal evidence from Morocco, Vietnam and Afghanistan in the s, in general ECT machines are not the devices of choice for electric torture.
The machines don't deliver the necessary voltage and they are expensive. So, while the picana electrica was truly innovative, its usage did not spread, and while the ECT device was widely employed, it was not used in police interrogations. It is in a context where electric stun technology like the picana is used in police interrogation, where police in vastly different countries can learn enough to adopt this technology, that the source of electric human torture can be found.
This context was French colonialism between and Electro torture stories the device in question was called a magneto or dynamo. It was a handcranked device that generated an electric charge. Dynamos are essential where electric outlets are not available. In the early twentieth century, they were used to trigger cars and field telephones. In Electro torture stories, a French journalist identified a magneto in a police office in Saigon that was introduced to him as a means of interrogating criminals.
In Algeria in the s, cars and field telephones were wired for electric torture. Two electric le are connected to the dynamo and their bare ends applied like hot needles to the most sensitive parts of the body. Alternatively two wires are wound around each ear or one around each ankle or one around a finger and the other around the penis.
Inprisoners in Poulo Condor, the main political prison in Vietnam, report extensive torture and fatalities due to electric torture. And in the early s, electric torture was being applied to FLN supporters in Paris. Why was electric torture first used so broadly and systematically in Algeria and Vietnam and why did it spread so rapidly after that?
Prior to the s, many police forces used third degree methods and torture to interrogate prisoners. Since the dynamo and magneto, the car battery and field telephone, were already available by World War I, why was electric torture not used more frequently? The reason lies in the quasi-democratic context in which the Algerian and Vietnamese conflicts developed. Torturers favor electric torture because it leaves no marks other than small burns that, one can allege, were simply self-inflicted.
Such a technique was simply unnecessary for police forces that were not held able or in war contexts where it didn't matter or where there were no courts or journalists to investigate the tortures. This is why we can find no record of Gestapo officers using electric torture for interrogation in Europe, although torture they undoubtedly did.
Even among Gestapo allies, only one small group of collaborators in Paris, experimented with electric torture. It also explains why we find few references to electric torture in the Soviet bloc. In Algeria, it was otherwise.
In fact, inthe French government was obliged to send Wuillaume, a senior civil servant unconnected to the police, to Algeria to investigate the many allegations of torture. In his notorious report, he concluded that torture, especially electric torture, was widely practiced.Electro torture stories
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