Blood on Your Hands

“The bomber was Kat Su Chang but make no mistake this blood is on your hands.”

There is some really skillful abuse and manipulation going on in this scene.  Look closely at how things play out.  First, Oliver is asked to torture the guy to find out where the bomb is.  He can’t do it.  The bomb goes off and kills a bunch of people.  Oliver feels terrible about it and the ARGUS lady tells him that IT IS HIS FAULT, therefore reinforcing his feelings of uncertainty and guilt.  Then she “give him another chance” and trains him to think that torture is the best option.  Oliver, of course, doesn’t want to feel responsible for the loss of more lives, so he complies.  Then extending things to the present day torture becomes part of his instincts, one of his immediate reactions, part of his survival skills.

It is easy to understand how Oliver would fall into this trap because he feels so bad about the bomb going off and wishes he could do something.  The person training him at the time, the ARGUS lady, says he can do something (get information out of people through torture), so he does.  The key here is that he believes, and is told to believe, that it is his fault and the deaths are on his hands.  But were these deaths really HIS fault?  Certainly not any more than they were her fault and much less than the person who planted the bomb. This is a classic misplacement of blame that often happens in abuse and bad training.  It shows the importance of who we receive our training from because what they teach us often becomes ingrained very deeply.

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