SAVAK: Reign of Terror

Right, so I was reading The Great War For Civilisation by Robert Fisk. And the book has been getting very interesting and I am around a quarter of the way through it.

The book was discussing the revolution in Iran. As many know, the U.S.A was responsible for removing the only democratic government formed in Iran and propping up the Shah’s regime; a harsh dictatorship, backed by the U.S.A and its allies.

Now, in Iran there was a very terrible intelligence organization that was part of the Shah’s regime. This was the SAVAK. The Savak was like the Gestapo. It reigned through terror and fear. During the Shah’s time, people were known to frequently disappear, never to be seen again. Anyone standing up to the Shah and his regime would be detained. Everyone knew that terrible things were happening to those people. Not many knew how bad it was…

As the book recounts, the horrible prisons of the Savak were investigated by the Revolutionary Guard after the revolution. The findings were terrible. Innocent people had been extensively tortured, some were tortured by cigarette burns! Executions of political prisoners were frequent. The people who ran this institution were heartless. In fact, when investigating the house of a Savak official the Revolutionary Guard found a prison in his basement! The prison had all sorts of torture equipment. Some of the torture methods carried out by this organization are unmentionable and I was surprised to hear about them!

The torture that this organization implemented was horrible. Aside from burning prisoners with cigarettes, the savak would whip them, insert pieces of glass into their body’s, pour boiling water on them, shock them with electricity and amputate the body parts of prisoners. I cannot even begin to speak of what this organization did to women, rape is a small crime compared to the atrocities they committed!

Now, this is all horrible and frightening. Why do I bring this up? Well, I want to bring to mind a question…

If the U.S. was willing to support such a terrible regime. If they were willing to bring down a democracy in order to install an autocratic government. What type of governments would they be willing to support today? What type of torture is carried out in Guantanamo Bay?

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