Bush looks to Jenny Craig for Gitmo torture techniques

17th April 2009

Bush looks to Jenny Craig for Gitmo torture techniques

posted in Diets |

What does George Bush and Jenny Craig have in common? They both torture people via dietary restrictions. According to HuffPo blogger Sam Stein:

In a footnote to a May 10, 2005, memorandum from the Office of Legal Council, the Bush attorney general’s office argued that restricting the caloric intake of terrorist suspects to 1000 calories a day was medically safe because people in the United States were dieting along those lines voluntarily.

“While detainees subject to dietary manipulation are obviously situated differently from individuals who voluntarily engage in commercial weight-loss programs, we note that widely available commercial weight-loss programs in the United States employ diets of 1000 kcal/day for sustain periods of weeks or longer without requiring medical supervision,” read the footnote. “While we do not equate commercial weight loss programs and this interrogation technique, the fact that these calorie levels are used in the weight-loss programs, in our view, is instructive in evaluating the medical safety of the interrogation technique.”

The fact that the same calorie restriction employed by commercial dietmongers is also used alongside such torture techniques as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and sexual and physical abuse is, in my view, even more telling.

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There are currently 22 responses to “Bush looks to Jenny Craig for Gitmo torture techniques”

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  1. 1 On April 17th, 2009, jenny said:


  2. 2 On April 17th, 2009, Amy said:

    “This 46-page May 10, 2005 memo (.pdf) from OLC Chief Steven Bradbury authorizes (under Constitutional and international law) all of these tactics for any “high-value detainees”: nudity, “dietary manipulation” involving “minimum caloric intake at commerical weight-loss programs,” “corrective techniques” (facial and abdominal slapping), water dousing, “walling,” stress positions and “wall standing” (to “induce muscle fatigue and the attendent discomfort”), cramped confinement, and sleep deprivation. It also authorized “no more than two sessions” of waterboarding in “any 24-hour period.”

    I really thought I was hallucinating when I read this section of the torture memos in Glen Greenwald’s column last night. There is so much horror in these memos and I do not mean to lessen any of that by pointing out that I found the “dietary manipulation” the most surprising. Though in total disagreement and utter shame that our country has done this I was prepared for the waterboarding, walling etc. I was unprepared for the government to consider behavior that is encouraged to be considered a harsh interrogation technique.

    That the US government as declared the great enemies to our country and the women of our country should be eating the same amount of calories is stunning. One to illicit confessions to grave crimes and threats the other to look good in bathing suit. I am really blown away by this.

    Do you think DietMongers should start using this in their marketing? “Good enough for the terrorist good enough for you.” or “No one at Gitmo is fat!” or “It may not be acceptable under the Geneva convention but Bush said it was fine so come eat less than necessary to maintain your cognitive abilities.”

  3. 3 On April 17th, 2009, Alyssa (The 39 year-old) said:


  4. 4 On April 17th, 2009, Cammy said:

    What bullshit.

  5. 5 On April 17th, 2009, O.C. said:

    I agree with everything you all have said.

    Sadly, I forsee some fauxgressives using this part of the torture memos as an excuse to crack jokes and make nasty comments about fat people as soon as they notice it. I’m guessing we’ll see the first of it in about 36-48 hours.

  6. 6 On April 17th, 2009, Lisa said:

    Oh mother of god.

  7. 7 On April 17th, 2009, Colleen said:

    I don’t see how comparing it to a dieter makes any sense at all in it not being torture. If for no other reason than your typical dieter is probably female and your typical terrorist is probably male.

  8. 8 On April 18th, 2009, Rachel said:

    “No one at Gitmo is fat!”

    Bwahahahaha! Sorry, I know it’s probably inappropriate given the torture these men have gone through, but I found this hilarious.

  9. 9 On April 18th, 2009, Rachel said:

    I don’t see how comparing it to a dieter makes any sense at all in it not being torture.

    The overall point is the same for terrorist or woman: Wean their caloric intake down so far to keep them alive, but in a state where they’re body’s defenses kick in and all they think about is food. They will then be more docile and retractable so that you can gain — and sustain — power over them.

  10. 10 On April 18th, 2009, sarah-j said:

    i don’t know if i should say this or not because it involves numbers and anything that i’m afraid might be triggering makes me feel unbelievably guilty. but, i was slightly surprised to read this. in the sense that it makes me realise that my own ED may have been slightly worse than i thought (definitely worse than i used to think at the time.)i used to feel like a failure for eating 1000 calories, especially if i binged to get to that. when i decided that i was going to recover, i started to make myself eat 1200 calories a day…and i thought that was loads. is 1000 really the minimum advocated by diet companies? does it really impair cognitive functioning?

    the now recovered part of me knows that that’s just ED talk but i was still surprised to read this.

    i am recovered now and eat way, waay more calories than that. anyway, i’m pretty sure, i was majorly underestimating my intake when i was restricting….maybe my body’s way of trying to get enough, but it would seem from this that i was also underestimating the the effect that my dieting was having on me.

    sorry for the slight cyber-venting that was this comment.

  11. 11 On April 19th, 2009, Jackie said:

    “No one at Gitmo is fat”

    This reminds me of the fat haters, who like to use the prisoners at the concentration camps, as an example that fat is a choice.

  12. 12 On April 19th, 2009, large and IN CHARGE said:

    I thought we were denying a casual link between caloric intake and body weight – your comments here suggest that you are recognizing the efficacy of caloric restriction for weight loss. That’s just anti-fat propaganda. Shame on your for falling in line with the fat-hate-patriarchy.

  13. 13 On April 19th, 2009, Rachel said:

    “We”? You speak as if there’s a unified and homogenous size acceptance community. There isn’t. And while I doubt the efficacy of unhealthy calorie restriction for sustained, long-term weight loss and management, I think it’s obvious that a starvation diet will induce weight-loss — that’s exactly how I lost more than half of my own body weight. Caloric intake/expenditure isn’t the only factor in overall body weight, but to deny its role completely when it comes to weight is simply absurd. It’s not “fat-hate-patriarchy,” it’s science. Do you truly believe that what you eat has no effect on your body weight whatsoever? Really?

  14. 14 On April 20th, 2009, Misty said:

    I think Large and in Charge’s comment may be designed merely to get a rise out of the community. Obviously non-stop starvation leads to weight loss (and ultimately death).

    It’s not the idea that starvation emaciates a body that’s the problem. It’s that women have been brainwashed into thinking that emaciation is desirable.

  15. 15 On April 20th, 2009, Rachel said:

    Yeah, that’s what I thought when I first read the comment, but since I have encountered fat acceptance activists who do truly believe that food intake has absolutely nothing to do with body weight whatsoever, I didn’t want to assume it.

  16. 16 On April 21st, 2009, Liza said:

    Maybe once we close Gitmo as a prison we can start using it as a fat camp blissful weight loss retreat.

  17. 17 On April 21st, 2009, Liza said:

    (“fat camp” was supposed to be strikethrough’d)

  18. 18 On April 22nd, 2009, Dieting in the Torture Memos - Well Blog - said:

    [...] Rachel at the F-Word blog: The fact that the same calorie restriction employed by commercial diet mongers is also used [...]

  19. 19 On April 22nd, 2009, Rachel said:

    Fixed, Liza :)

  20. 20 On April 22nd, 2009, Gregory A. Butler said:

    So, the diet industry and George Bush agree on Geneva Convention-busting starvation diets for people deemed to be subhuman – Bush’s Muslim prisoner’s, and the women of America!

    Sad – and pathetic – and very very very angrymaking.

    Incidentally, I like that phrase “diet mongers”!

  21. 21 On April 24th, 2009, ackdoc » Blog Archive » Dieting in the Torture Memos said:

    [...] Rachel at the F-Word blog wonders what that means for those looking at such diets: The fact that the same calorie restriction employed by commercial diet mongers is also used alongside such torture techniques as waterboarding, sleep deprivation and sexual and physical abuse is, in my view, even more telling. [...]

  22. 22 On June 2nd, 2009, Blimp said:

    Of course it’s torture! Dieting is supposed to be torture! How else can you feel like you’ve done penance for your gluttony? You must be punished! After you’ve done your penance, indulge in sinnamon sweet rolls, then repeat. Jenny Craig exploits people’s guilt about their weight for money, and they are paid to administer guilt-relieving torture! The crime is not the torture, but the brainwashing to cause such guilt, which also causes Americans to think that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are necessary and the torture at Gitmo justified. The brainwashing destroys our cognitive abilities, making us as dumb and mean as G.W. Bush.

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