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Torture Again? — Why Now?
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Torture Again?

Torture is a disease, not a cure. It is a disease of sociopathic, sadistic cowards, not an interrogation technique. The only thing that is reliably produced by torture is a false confession. The studies and literature are consistent on this point and the data goes back centuries. Many of these studies are not academic treatises, but hands on experiments by the military and the police in many different countries, at various times.

Ellroon at Rants from the Rookery posts about Dershowitz claiming that torture worked because the Nazis used it effectively against the French Resistance. Dershowitz needs to read some real, authoritative histories of Vichy France to understand how the Resistance was, on occasion, penetrated by authorities. With a careful reading he might understand how many people who had absolutely no ties of any kind to the Resistance were arrested and often executed based on their relationship to someone who “confessed” under torture.

Mary at Pacific Views writes about Rendering al-Libi and what a massive screw up the entire process was. The man confessed to everything he could think of, and even though it is now known that the “information” he provided was totally wrong, no one is willing to admit that torturing him was a bad idea.

The BBC reported on a recently discovered document in the Vatican archives that showed that Pope Clement V determined that the Knights Templar were not guilty of heresy:

However, many of the confessions were obtained under torture and knights later recanted or tried to claim that their initiation ceremony merely mimicked the humiliation the knights would suffer if they fell into the hands of the Muslim leader Saladin.

The leader of the order, Jacques de Molay, was one of those who confessed to heresy, but later recanted.

He was burned at the stake in Paris in 1314, the same year that the Pope dissolved the order.

For political reasons the Pope didn’t publish his findings, and innocent men died.

This was in the 14th century and happened to an order of committed, crusading, Christian knights. If people like that will admit to heresy under torture, what chance is there that your average Middle Eastern goat herder will start telling his torturers whatever he thinks they want to hear? How long is it going to take to convince some people that torture doesn’t work?


1 whig { 11.10.07 at 10:21 pm }

I think some people like torture for its own sake.

2 Bryan { 11.10.07 at 11:30 pm }

I know damn well that’s what happens, because history is filled with the examples.

3 whig { 11.11.07 at 11:11 am }

So really, it’s nice for them when they have an excuse. And Dershowitz is all too happy to help. Fucker.

4 whig { 11.11.07 at 11:12 am }

He can be their defense counsel at Nuremberg. If they’ll have him.

5 Bryan { 11.11.07 at 12:17 pm }

Dershowitz was once the most extreme criminal rights attorney in the US and on all the shows almost claiming that arresting people was, by definition, “duress” as the will of the “state” was being imposed on individuals. That’s one of the reasons his thinking is considered so extreme – he apparently doesn’t believe in moderation.