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Grass Is Green — Why Now?
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Grass Is Green

Scarecrow at the Pyro Poodle Puddle notes that the Intelligence Science Board, the people who develop procedures and techniques for the intelligence agencies, have re-confirmed what everyone already knew: torture doesn’t work.

We have decades of study on this question, and every time the question is asked, the answer is the same: torture doesn’t work.

The purpose of torture is to coerce someone into doing something against their will, i.e. sign a false confession, make a propaganda statement. No one has ever gotten usable intelligence from torture, all that has ever been obtained is fodder for agitprop.


1 Steve Bates { 05.31.07 at 11:53 am }

(Great alias for FDL. I believe Kobe actually is a poodle, if I recall correctly.)

Some of the right-wing noise machine have tried to make this a discussion about whether we called Bush Hitler, or said he was like Hitler, or some such. That’s irrelevant noise, as usual from those people. Torture is torture, by any name, in any place and time, by any powerful force against any powerless people. It never works to gather information, and it is always a moral stain on the perpetrator. Shame on all those who torture, or order torture… including Messrs. Bush and Cheney and their henchmen.

2 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 12:09 pm }

The Communists used for the confessions to be produced in the show trials, not for information gathering. It is a waste of the soul of the interrogator to no purpose.

3 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 1:05 pm }

[Steve, yes, Jane’s dogs are standard poodles, and Russian poetry tends to be more alliterative than rhyming, as rhyme is easy in a language that uses endings to denote the purpose of an individual word.]

4 hipparchia { 05.31.07 at 6:59 pm }

pyro poodle puddle!
plosively poetic.

you know that scenario that torture advocates are always posing? the one about “what if this detainee knows the location of the nuclear device that’s going to explode in downtown manhattan in the next 15 minutes…”

If I were the king of the world
Tell you what I’d do
I’d throw away the cars and the bars and the war
, and then i’d:
expand the definition of torture
make torture a capital crime

everyone who believes strongly enough in the efficacy of torture to save the world should be willing to give their own life in exchange.

5 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 9:20 pm }

If you torture someone, aren’t they likely to want to strike back? What the up side for them if they tell you the truth? If they tell you nothing, you fail. They already know what kind of thorough bastard you are for using torture, so they aren’t likely to cooperate if they really know something.

If you have enough information to know for a fact that you have the right person to ask the question, you have enough information to find the bomb.

Even if you find it, it is unlikely you will be able to defuse it in 15 minutes.

It’s that old question from the police academy – how to you stop a suicidal person with a gun?

6 hipparchia { 05.31.07 at 10:46 pm }

i’m completely against torture, or anything resembling it. i just like posing that death penalty question to people who approve of torture.

7 Bryan { 05.31.07 at 11:44 pm }

Torture is a crime, you just have to have a Justice Department who will do their job.