war

In 1963, the CIA distributed a novella-length manual on torture. It is reprinted here in its (redacted) entirety.

In 1963, the CIA distributed a novella-length manual on torture. It is reprinted here in its (redacted) entirety.

In 1963, the CIA distributed a novella-length manual on torture. It is reprinted here in its (redacted) entirety.

In 1963, the CIA distributed a novella-length manual on torture. It is reprinted here in its (redacted) entirety.

In 1983, the CIA distributed an update to its manual on torture. It is reprinted here in its (redacted) entirety.

The CIA's 1963 Torture Manual In Its Entirety, Part I

In 1963, the CIA distributed a novella-length manual on torture. It is reprinted here in its (redacted) entirety.

Hello there, folks. It's time for a little podcast recap -- a chance for the SYSK Army to sound off about the show topics. A forum, if you will. This week on the Stuff You Should Know podcast program, Dr. Clark and myself got into a couple of odd topics. Well, neither one is odd on its own, but paired together it's a bit weird. On Tuesday's show we chatted it up about circumcision.

The Professor: We have a "moral obligation" to terraform other planets

There's a big debate over whether exporting democracy is a sound idea. On the one hand, you've got all the good things that come with it, like egalitarianism, the rule of law and kids holding hands and skipping everywhere. On the other hand, you've got free markets, corporate exploitation and homogenization.

Hillary Clinton's recently visited the Democratic Republic of Congo (aka, the DRC, Congo, Zaire), a nation that has seen an internal war result in the death of five million inhabitants (more than six percent of the DRC's current population) since 1996. Clinton's visit was intended to spotlight the increasingly growing problem of rape as a tool of cultural control and torture among the Congolese. NPR reported that from a refugee camp, Secretary Clinton pledged $17 million in aid to combat rape in the DRC. That amount should help tremendously, but it also seems wincingly paltry in the era of TARP and $2 billion in Cash for Clunkers vouchers. I can't think of too many things more insidious than rape as a weapon or tool of war. It's arguably much worse than murder: the dead move on; the raped are disowned by their families and ostracized by their communities. Somewhere around 200,000 women and girls have been raped in the villages and cities of the Congo by factions on both sides of the conflict over the past 12 years. That figure got me to wondering exactly which war-torn nation had the dubious title of the rape capital of the world. Perhaps it was the DRC, perhaps Sudan. I found after a moment's research that I actually live in a nation ranked by NationMaster per capita near the top.

The anthropologist named Jared Diamond has gotten loads of press over the past few years for a couple of great books he's written, "Guns, Germs and Steel" and "Collapse." It was an essay he wrote back in the 1980s that really got to me, though. Called "The worst mistake in the history of the human race," Diamond comes up with the radical but thoroughly plausible hypothesis that the introduction of agriculture was the worst choice humankind ever made. After the advent of agriculture, humans became sedentary. Our lives centered around our cropland, and with an abundance of food, a lot of people could live in one place. Cities arose, and so too did all manner of problems we humans didn't have before we started raising crops and livestock. Living in close quarters allowed epidemic disease to spread. Crop failures led to famine. Crop surpluses led to the rise of currency...