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View Diary: The Moral Maze - Torture (73 comments)

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  •  So torture is not only evil... (11+ / 0-) is also stupid. Well, stupid if you want the truth. If you want a confession (the main purpose of torture in medieval times, it seems) then that's something different. And that appears to be what our anti-heroes used torture for.

    Not in my name.

    •  Well that just confirms (5+ / 0-)

      that those tortured usually end up telling their tormentors what they think they want to hear.

      I hope that the quality of debate will improve,
      but I fear we will remain Democrats.

      by twigg on Thu May 31, 2012 at 09:18:43 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  And there you have (6+ / 0-)

      the fundamental reason why this issue doesn't go away.   Deep-down and under the skin, the reason for torture isn't to get information.  Anybody with sense and experience knows that it's far from the best way to do that.  The purpose is twofold: 1) to punish, hurt, and extract vengeance from an enemy for the interrogator's (and vicariously those who support him) own emotional satisfaction, and 2) to demonstrate dominance, both for the individuals involved in torture and the social structure which authorizes them, and both publicly and privately.  Privately, among the perpetrators, there is the heady rush of power that assuages old angst and sense of helplessness.  Publicly, there is the "salutary demonstration" of the superiority of the state and its owners over all other states, internal dissidents, and external foes.  This is the true purpose of state-sponsored torture.  Extracting information is just the excuse.

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