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Tough Love for Terrorists and Troubled Teens

Maia Szalavitz, author of "Help At Any Cost: How the Troubled-Teen Industry Cons Parents and Hurts Kids", writes in Mother Jones:

Americans tend to valorize tough love at times, even tough love that verges on torture in prisons, mental hospitals, drug rehabs, and teen boot camps. We aren't squeamish about the psychological aspects of torture. We might even admire them. Thousands of troubled children, for instance, now attend tough "wilderness programs" "emotional growth boarding schools" and other "tough love" camps where they face conditions like total isolation, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, and daily emotional attacks. (...)

Most of all, we need to stop thinking that getting tough is the answer to everything. It’s often harder to resist kindness and compassion than it is to submit to brute force and tell your captors what you think they want to hear. This is, in part, why the FBI wanted nothing to do with "enhanced interrogation." The data on both teen treatment and legal interrogations by the FBI are clear: torturous tactics are both unnecessary and harmful.

Less tough love for the Gitmo detainees in Germany? The German government currently reviews the official US request to accept as many as 17 Uighur detainees from Guantanamo. The initial reaction is mixed. Chancellor Merkel has said that Germany has an obligation to help US President Barack Obama in his efforts to close the American military prison camp, writes DW World. Foreign Minister Steinmeier is in favor of taking some inmates as well, but apparently Wolfgang Schäuble, who heads the Interior Ministry, which is comparable to the Department of Homeland Security, has expressed reservations, writes the Washington Post.

The conservative newspaper Die Welt is running an online poll. Right now 91 percent of 1473 voters are against it. Tough love...


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Pat Patterson on :

I think Mother Jones, the magazine, might just be forgetting involuntary commitment to mental hospitals, electroshock treatment, forced feeding by tubes, Antabuse for alcoholics and any number of treatments for the mentally ill or dependent that are no longer considered either humane or effective. Plus it should be noted that the original Mother Jones also exercised some tough love of her own by being a member of the extremely violent IWW. It just depends on what decade torture and tough love is being talked about.

Don S on :

"Less tough love for the Gitmo detainees in Germany" Wise of the Germans. German policy is apparently only to export potential terrorists to the US (reference Mohammed Atta et al), not import them...... What starts in the US stays in the US, and what starts in Germany ends up in the US. One more observation: How long has Germany been debating whether to accept any presumably innocent Gitmo inmates? 2005? Even when Germany is far better equipped to resettle them in something like a native community. We're past the old, stormy days of German-US mutual detestation and into the sunny days of complete cooperation and teamwork. Curiously, however, the end results seem to be precisely the same under Obama as they were under The Evil One. Funny, that..... ;)

Mark on :

I dont see why Germany should help out US. Why should Germany go along with the US? The US should be responsible for its actions and not expect others to help it out. This is Mark from Israeli Uncensored News.

Marie Claude on :

uh, are they dangerous ? a wolf says so :

Troubled Youth on :

Unlike Gitmo most troubled teen boot camps are voluntary (do some research). The quoted author is so far off it isn't even funny.

Pat Patterson on :

Another fake missive from the Celestial Empire.

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