List all torture incidents | List deaths | List by technique | List by location
Public support | Government policy | Accountability & cover-ups | Rendition | FoIA docs | NGO reports & legal actn
Consequences & blowback | The New Iraq & other broken promises | The media | The noble few

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Why use torture?

Today, Naomi Klein provides an explanation for why we torture people despite the poor quality of information it produces.
No one claims that torture is an effective interrogation tool--least of all the people who practice it. Torture "doesn't work. There are better ways to deal with captives," CIA director Porter Goss told the Senate Intelligence Committee on February 16. And a recently declassified memo written by an FBI official in Guantánamo states that extreme coercion produced "nothing more than what FBI got using simple investigative techniques." The Army's own interrogation field manual states that force "can induce the source to say whatever he thinks the interrogator wants to hear."
This is torture's true purpose: to terrorize--not only the people in Guantánamo's cages and Syria's isolation cells but also, and more important, the broader community that hears about these abuses. Torture is a machine designed to break the will to resist--the individual prisoner's will and the collective will.

This is not a controversial claim. In 2001 the US NGO Physicians for Human Rights published a manual on treating torture survivors that noted: "perpetrators often attempt to justify their acts of torture and ill treatment by the need to gather information. Such conceptualizations obscure the purpose of torture....The aim of torture is to dehumanize the victim, break his/her will, and at the same time, set horrific examples for those who come in contact with the victim. In this way, torture can break or damage the will and coherence of entire communities."


Blogger Marie said...

I like the readability of your blog.Looks great!

15/5/05 10:41 am  
Blogger zencomix said...

I don't know what the old template looked like, since this is my first visit, but this is easy on the eyes to read.

18/5/05 3:00 am  
Blogger elendil said...

Oh good. As much as I loved the darkness of the last template, I think that readability might be more important than aesthetics in this instance. Thanks for your comments, both.

30/5/05 10:22 am  
Anonymous Replica Watches said...

What youre saying is completely true. I know that everybody must say the same thing, but I just think that you put it in a way that everyone can understand. I also love the images you put in here. They fit so well with what youre trying to say. Im sure youll reach so many people with what youve got to say. Replica Watches

16/10/10 2:20 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home