How the U.S. uses sexual humiliation as a political tool to control the masses

Naomi Wolf writes: In a five-four ruling this week, the supreme court decided that anyone can be strip-searched upon arrest for any offense, however minor, at any time. This horror show ruling joins two recent horror show laws: the NDAA, which lets anyone be arrested forever at any time, and HR 347, the “trespass bill”, which gives you a 10-year sentence for protesting anywhere near someone with secret service protection. These criminalizations of being human follow, of course, the mini-uprising of the Occupy movement.

Is American strip-searching benign? The man who had brought the initial suit, Albert Florence, described having been told to “turn around. Squat and cough. Spread your cheeks.” He said he felt humiliated: “It made me feel like less of a man.”

In surreal reasoning, justice Anthony Kennedy explained that this ruling is necessary because the 9/11 bomber could have been stopped for speeding. How would strip searching him have prevented the attack? Did justice Kennedy imagine that plans to blow up the twin towers had been concealed in a body cavity? In still more bizarre non-logic, his and the other justices’ decision rests on concerns about weapons and contraband in prison systems. But people under arrest – that is, who are not yet convicted – haven’t been introduced into a prison population.

Our surveillance state shown considerable determination to intrude on citizens sexually. There’s the sexual abuse of prisoners at Bagram – der Spiegel reports that “former inmates report incidents of … various forms of sexual humiliation. In some cases, an interrogator would place his penis along the face of the detainee while he was being questioned. Other inmates were raped with sticks or threatened with anal sex”. There was the stripping of Bradley Manning is solitary confinement. And there’s the policy set up after the story of the “underwear bomber” to grope US travelers genitally or else force them to go through a machine – made by a company, Rapiscan, owned by terror profiteer and former DHA czar Michael Chertoff – with images so vivid that it has been called the “pornoscanner”.

Believe me: you don’t want the state having the power to strip your clothes off. History shows that the use of forced nudity by a state that is descending into fascism is powerfully effective in controlling and subduing populations.

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1 thought on “How the U.S. uses sexual humiliation as a political tool to control the masses

  1. Christopher Hoare

    It is easy to denounce the US as an operating police state—which can be seen to be true by anyone who understands the values of freedom and democracy (that the country has lost). (Britain is very close on its heels.) What is needed by all those who care enough to seek to reverse the process is to pinpoint the actors who perpetrate these crimes upon the citizenry. The whole Washington administration can be fingered, but who will determine who are the actors and who are the fellow-travellers, who go along with this for the sake of their careers? The police forces that have been corrupted by the Department of Homeland Security all need a severe weeding out at their tops. The DHS, of course, is the prime criminal agency here and must be dismantled in its entirety.

    I see a close parallel with the anti-democratic, authoritarian manner that corporations operate in. The 1%; the managers who run America’s corporations are possibly the greatest beneficiaries of a police state that prevents its citizens from exercising their democratic rights. (And will likely prevent more aggressively as people take aim at the corruption of Washington into a lap dog of the lobbies.) This perversion of the US constitution has appeared during the years during which regulations and oversight of the financial industry have been tossed out the window.

    Is the American public up for the political protests of their own Tahrir Square? It seems unlikley while the birthrights of future generations are robbed in order to create the illusion of a safe return to the financial world pre 2007-8. Perhaps the leader of this peaceful revolution will have to be an honest economist…if one can be found.

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