Brain Warfare: The Covert Sphere, Terrorism, And The Legacy Of The Cold War - Essay By Timothy Melley (MITPress, 2011)

On October 2, 2005, three months after the coordinated bombing of the London transportation system and three days before the U.S. Senate overwhelmingly approved John McCain’s Detainee Treatment Act, British Home Secretary Charles Clarke attempted to explain terrorism via a specter of the Cold War. Islamic terrorists, Clarke argued, should not be seen in the “‘classic’ mould of revolutionaries fighting for a political cause.” Rather, they are like educated youths “brainwashed”into joining cults. Indeed, Clarke added, perhaps “anti-brainwashing techniques”could be used to “deprogramme” terrorists—converting them back to productive citizens essentially by running brainwashing protocols in reverse.

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