Monday, January 10, 2005

More on Torture

This article by Heather MacDonald describes in detail the consequences of placing specific limits upon interogators, then providing these limits for public consumption. Our conscience is clean, but our results are materially harmed. Key graf:

"The stress techniques that the military has used to date are not torture; the advocates can only be posturing in calling them such. On its website, Human Rights Watch lists the effects of real torture: “from pain and swelling to broken bones, irreparable neurological damage, and chronic painful musculoskeletal problems . . . [to] long-term depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, marked sleep disturbances and alterations in self-perceptions, not to mention feelings of powerlessness, of fear, guilt and shame.” Though none of the techniques that Pentagon interrogators have employed against al-Qaida comes anywhere close to risking such effects, Human Rights Watch nevertheless follows up its list with an accusation of torture against the Bush administration. "

Perhaps Human Rights Watch should be less concerned with the shame and guilt that might be felt by terrorists who release information on future plots and more concerned with preventing the torment and murder of innocent civilians. Of course, such a viewpoint would not advance an anti-Bush agenda, and thus, has no political value.

3 Comments:

At January 31, 2005 at 8:52 AM, Blogger RobW said...

Waterboarding is not torture? Strapping someone down and submerging them underwater isn't torture? That's ridiculous. Of course it is. There is no such thing as the "sensation of drowning." Either you are drowning or not--qualifying this process by saying that "we will pull them out before they drown" is ridiculous. If Stalin did this, we'd call it suffocating. If Zarqwai was doing this to U.S. troops to get information out of them would it be torture? The answer is yes. Therefore when we do it is also torture.

Also torture is rarely effective. Talk to any professional police interrogator and they will explain that working to break them down psychologially through repeated questioning is the most effective

 
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