In one violent outburst in Bahrain, enraged by a line of questioning about her sexual past, she felled a female interpreter with a palm-heel strike to the nose, delivered a hammer-fist punch to the groin of Henderson, and then grabbed for his pistol. She was about to shoot herself with the pistol when she was jolted by an electric stun gun. Her rage prompted Henderson to send her to Seoul. "Get her out of here. She belongs to the South Koreans now," Henderson said.
In an interview published in the Sunday Herald on 21 November 1999, a Bahraini claiming to have been tortured by Henderson described the encounter:
"My first experience of Henderson took place in 1982 when I was hanged like a chicken at the office of Adel Flaifel, one of Henderson's henchmen.
"I was hanged by my arms and legs when Henderson entered the room and said: 'Do you want to confess?'. He immediately assaulted me in an immoral way and after a while he left the room."
Hassan said he was naked at the time and Henderson beat him over the buttocks. He went on: "The encounter lasted about 10 minutes during which I was in severe pain. The three torturers - Flaifel, Abdulla Al Tanak and Abdulla Al Dowsari - stopped when he entered the room awaiting further instructions from him, but upon receiving satisfactory approval from him, they resumed their beating.
"You stayed in the same room while traveling. I suppose nothing happened between you?" Okuba asked.
"Of course not," I snapped. "He was like a father to me." "Did you stay in rooms with a double bed or twin beds?" "Twin."
"Where did you change your clothes?"
"In the bathroom."
"When you took a bath, did you lock the door?"
"Have you seen Shinichi naked?"
My jaw dropped. "What?"
"For example," Okubo continued, without batting an eyelash, "did you ever notice the surgical scar on Shinichi's abdomen?"
"No, but I knew that he had had a stomach operation."
"Tell me," said Okubo, her eyes boring into me as Henderson watched, "have you had sex with other men besides Shinichi?"
I was so flabbergasted that I couldn't say anything. She took this as an admission of guilt and proceeded. "How many men have you had sex with?"
"Did you ever have an orgasm?"
"Did you ever seduce men as part of your job as a spy?" No response.
"Was Shinichi the best lay you ever had?"
"Fuck you!" I shouted at her, in English, determined to beat her at her own game. "He was an old man, for God's sake!"
"Ah!" Henderson piped in. "So you're saying that he tried but was unable to?"
I stared at him, my blood boiling. I groped for a response, but I was so enraged that I could only, between deep breaths, sputter something incoherent.
"Too bad," said Okubo. "I understand from the autopsy that he was rather well endowed."
That did it. I jumped across the table before anyone could react and dealt her a classic martial arts blow—a palm-heel strike to the nose. I heard the cartilage crack, and blood spattered everywhere. Okubo screamed, falling back onto the floor. Henderson gave a shout and tried to subdue me, pinning my arms behind my back. I stamped on his toe with my heel, which loosened his grip, and delivered a hammer-fist punch to his groin followed by an elbow-strike to the side of his head. He was momentarily staggered. At once I frisked him, determined to shoot myself then and there. But the guards were already rushing at me from the doorway. I had just closed my hand around Henderson's pistol when I was pulled away from Henderson and seized in a headlock.
"Don't shoot her!" Henderson gasped. I saw him out of the corner of my eye, sagging against the wall, bent double. "That's what she wants! We need her alive!"
I knew my way out of a headlock. I chopped at my captor's groin, and simultaneously, as he released me, I used my other hand to reach up and grip his hair, pulling his head back viciously for a lethal blow to the neck. I drew my hand back for a knife-hand chop and at that moment was jolted as if by a stroke of lightning. I crumpled to the floor immediately, my whole body numb. I landed on my side, and looked up to see a second guard looming over me holding an electric stun gun. Before I could move, the third guard had cuffed my hands behind my back. I was helpless.'
Henderson pushed himself to his feet. His face was flushed, his breathing heavy. He stared down at me with an expression of dazed loathing. "That's it, Mayumi," he rasped. "You've had your chance." He turned away, speaking to someone whom I couldn't see. "Get her out of here. She belongs to the South Koreans now."
For example, where the DPRK presents itself to the outside world as a misunderstood country seeking integration into the international community, it presents itself to its own citizens as a rogue state that breaks agreements with impunity, dictates conditions to groveling U.N. officials, and keeps its enemies in constant fear of ballistic retribution.
de: Henderson is of the developed countries. Now, about this isolated "cult" that packages us as villains ...
Sorry, we Westerners are not squeaky clean. I can't buy that propaganda.
XMLicious: It seems to me like a totally false dichotomy and pretty myopic to speak as though a nation is either a state or a cult...
And in some respects the more modern Western polities are somewhat more like cults in some respects than the autocratic nations of the present and past. ... is it more cult-like for people who should know better to march in line with the leader's whims in North Korea out of fear, or to enthusiastically support the goals of the rulers of a democracy of their own accord?
But I'm not saying that North Korea isn't really bad in all sorts of ways, just that rule by force and even things like widespread ignorance of the broader world aren't what typifies or defines a cult to me... some of the Scientologists I've met, for example, seemed quite well-educated and articulate.)
We failed as a nation then but it was a failure of democracy, not totalitarianism.
No one is making this argument. Straw man.
The were encouraged to stand facing the picture of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il hanging on the walls of every citizen's home, bow, and recite a small phrase making their devotion and gratitude.
In the Crocodile Dundee movie, both characters are holding up knives. The difference is the one's a lot bigger and more dangerous. The difference is not in kind, but in degree.
XMLicious: If it's the use of violence and intimidation that defines what a cult is to you, fine - I am not engaging in some sort of Machiavellian rhetorical puppetry to undermine you, I just disagree.
It feels like you are widening the definition of cult-like behavior until the term becomes meaningless.
No, actually I use a dictionary to define words. You might find it more useful than just assigning your own personal meanings to words.
You haven't actually read any of the above-mentioned books and articles about like in North Korea, have you?
There's something truly (though grimly) hilarious about commenters saying "The U.S. isn't very different from North Korea,"
When I say that the United States and North Korea are each similar to cults, I'm not trying to argue that they're similar to each other, which maybe is what some people are getting so intense about.
Most sources have said that unlike in the USSR, where people had various ways of accessing non-state information, the people of the hermit kingdom are totally cut off from outside information and ideas (not to mention chronically deprived of protein), and therefore believe state propaganda much more thoroughly than the people of Russia or Eastern Europe did. Refugees from North Korea all tell of being shocked– genuinely shocked– to discover that people in the West were not starving to death and lusting for Korean blood, as they had always believed. You are welcome to read some of the above-mentioned refugee accounts to confirm those impressions, or to visit North Korea, which is generally willing to issue tourist visas.
You just gave an example of a Soviet leader believing his regime's own propaganda. The relative prosperity of the US and USSR weren't minor points, that was important to the legitimacy of the Soviet regime. If Soviet leaders were capable of believing their own bullshit why are you so convinced that North Korean leaders are not?
More importantly, setting aside the violent totalitarian nature of the DPROK and analyzing the extent to which people in a given country share a set of beliefs is to ignore what is really distinctive and terrible about North Korea.
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