Torture–It’s the Economy, Stupid….
by Linda Beale
Torture–It’s the Economy, Stupid…..
Naked Capitalism ran a “guest post” by “George Washington” yesterday on Cheney’s role in furthering the Bush Administration’s torture agenda: Cheney Admits to Being a War Criminal, Naked Capitalism (Feb. 16, 2010).
Washington notes that the mainstream media’s approach to Cheney–letting him argue for torture without ever challenging him with tough questions–is “no different than interviewing Charles Manson and letting him argue–without challenge–that murder is a great thing.” And we are all guilty. “By failing to demand that torture stop and those who ordered it–like Cheney–be held to account, Americans are complicit in war crimes, just like the Germans who failed to stand up to Hitler were complicit in crimes against humanity.”
The preface argues that “torture is bad for the economy”, with a link to Washington’s own blog post on January 9 noting that “The Military-Industrial Complex is Ruining the Economy.”
The impact of militarization is huge, and the long-term wars we are engaged in currently, and their high costs, surely impact our economy. Surely the military-industrial complex and its demands on the tax system (and its potential threats to our democratic institutions) are viable topics at ataxingmatter, as part of the discussion of tax policy and institutional sustainability. The military-industrial complex gobbles up huge portions of the tax revenues that our system brings in. At the same time, our income tax provisions are extraordinarily vulnerable to the intensive lobbying of members of the military-industrial complex–from provision of multiple tax breaks to soldiers in the military front line to enormous subsidies for the natural resources extractive industries that feed barrels of oil into the pipeline of energy inefficient ships, planes, drones, trucks, and other energy gobblers in the military supply network. Taxing and spending go hand in hand–even when their relationship has been warped by the kinds of tax cuts passed in the Bush Administration that built in huge shortfalls of revenues in order to benefit the owner/manager class while at the same time treating war expenditures (and the future expenditures for replacement equipment and care of wounded necessitated by today’s war) as after-thoughts that could be added as supplemental budget items that are slipped through the legislative process without the kind of in-depth discussion and understanding that is required. As a result, we have followed a “make war now, figure out how to pay later” mentality. Put together with the huge, multiple Bush tax cuts–especially those for big corporations and their owners/managers–and the enormous financial commitment that was required to bailout the financial system because of its one-way-casino mentality (gamble the house’s money and if you lose, the house makes it up to you; if you win, you eat it all yourself and leave no crumbs for the house), we are left with an economic system that requires deep and thoughtful intervention to right itself–tax reforms to undo at least a portion of the disastrous Bush policies, financial institution reforms to break up the Big Banks and return them to quasi-public utility status where the public interest counters their private greed in the types of decisions they can make, and military reforms that include long-term thinking about the relationship between military decisions and the sustainability of democracy are at the very top of the list .
So how does torture–and the question of holding Bush administration officials accountable for using torture and advocating its use as a cornerstone of their approach to terrorism–relate to the economic/tax issues connected with the military-industrial complex? The following offers a sketch of considerations that support considering torture a tool of war that has particularly bad connotations in connection with the over-militarization of the economy.
First, torture was, under Bush, a key factor of war policy. It was openly advocated for by Cheney, and lawyers like Yoo in the administration pushed the boundaries (I would argue even “went beyond” the boundaries) of ethical requirements and competent representation to create some semblance of a legal foundation supporting the policy (and protecting the state actors who were embarking on it). Torture was thus demonstrably a key factor in the way the Bush Adminsitration fought its wars.
Second, torture as a practice weakens democratic institutions, since it can only be furthered through methods that run counter to our constitutional protections for due process–it demands that the executive powers be permitted to treat harshly those that are considered “other” without ordinary processes for first determining guilt before meting out punishment. In the Bush case, there was an affirmative decision to torture stemming from the undemocratic (and unsupported in our constitutional history) notion of a president with unilateral powers to do anything domestically or internationally, even actions contrary to domestic law and international treaties, under the presidential powers to conduct wars that Congress has declared–the absurdly undemocratic, fascist, militaristic, and anti-constitutional concept of a “unitary executive” pushed by the neo-cons to support the accretion of incredible powers to Bush because of his role as “commander in chief” of the armed forces.
Third, the use of torture invites a cycle of non-diplomatic and non-democratic responses. In a world context where even Democrats and Republicans have lost the art of reasonable compromise in pursuit of the greater good, it is not surprising that cultures that are as deeply opposed in values as (a) open democracies that strive for equal rights for women and men and freedom from religion as well as freedom of religion and (b) male-dominated theocracies where religion is imposed will find it hard to find avenues for working together for the common good. Add bias and assumptions about violence to the mix, add torture of those who perhaps are most prone to violent jihad to the mix, and the mixture becomes explose. As noted, torture represents a decision to deal brutally with those who are considered “other” than the governed people but for whom there have been no public processes to determine guilt or innocence. That lack of due process and lack of transparency breeds contempt for the government that embraces it–especially by those who bear the brunt of it. The widely disseminated photos of torture in the Abu Ghrab prison firmly fixed the image of “America as a torturing state” for those who were already prone to view the nation as biased against Islam and as a brutal state pursuing capitalism at any expense. Just as news of the Nazi concentration camps spread from one group of potential targets to another, the news of American use of torture and the intentionally anti-Islamic techniques (menstruating women, dogs, nakedness) must clearly have spread from one fervent Islamic group to another, reinforcing any hate and buttressing militant responses. Torture, in other words, breeds contempt, and contempt breeds war in a vicious cycle of brutal torture-hate-brutal response.
Thus, when torture and war crimes are furthered by top officials, the military economy is benefited and both democratic institutions and ordinary Americans are the losers. As one commentator on the Naked Capitalism post noted:
The only people who are intelligent, informed, AND support torture are the ones who WANT the US to have a lot of enemies, because they are in the pay of the military industrial complex. …They want a forever war. …[I]n the end, the neocons and the jihadis need each other for [their] own self-interests. Unfortunately, it’s the rest of us that end up paying. –Comment by “Skepticus Maximus”
So adding to the human rights and international treaty and domestic law arguments about holding the Bush Administration accountable is this economic/democratic institution argument . People like Cheney who advocated torture and legal advocates like John Yoo who facilitated it ought to be be held responsible not only because their actions violated the Geneva Convention and human rights agreements (we hanged Japanese prisoners for waterboarding) but because the advocacy and use of torture continue to threaten the foundations of the democratic institutions that we hold dear by underpinning an “above the law” military-industrial complex that is extraordinarily powerful and able to garner spending and tax provisions to its favor with apparent ease, with long-term deteriorative impact on the economy.
crossposted with ataxingmatter by Linda Beale
Linda, this may be too unrealted to your point but I think it is another element in how actions/policy feeds the growth.
It is always unclear to me what people are talking about when they address the “military/industrial complex”. Do they naively view this to be DOD spending or do they see past one part of the budget to the related and, often, duplicative spending across the government’s budget? Perhaps we need a new term for “military” to describe the “complex”. Security/industrial complex seems too non-descriptive and “security” sounds like something good. It is but the form it takes in the “complex” is not. Do people realize that the “industrial” part is multi-dipping multiple agency budgets for the same technology (solutions to the same or similar problems using variations of a single technology). Do they realize that the “industrial” part and much of the “military (or security)” part touches the economics of each and every Congress critter’s states and incentivizes expansion under the cover of “defense” or “security”. Do they realize how many new start technology companies or “entrepreneurships” are, at first, store-front creations spun inexpensively from university, government, and industrial emerging technologies to be matured by government funds with promises of “security” and, with critter help to their states, receiving government subsidies that would otherwise be investment by private enterprise and/or investment?
So Linda, off topic from torture, what part of the overall federal budget are we talking about? I admit being livid at the creation of the world’s silliest bureaucracy, the Department of “Homeland” Security and the spread of the same industrial complex across DOD, DHS, DOE, and others, each solving the same problem (e.g. communications while maximizing non-interoperability; everyone and everyone’s state gets a contract) so that tomorrow’s contract is to bring the parts together (new contracts to the same industry players to hack it together). Don’t get me wrong, I am a supporter of a strong defense but that is far from what seems to be happening. DHS seems to operate on zero risk and DOD on risk mitigation so what works for DOD doesn’t work for DHS without a different design to match a different need. Same technology, different design paid for twice or more when, clearly, DHS (and perhaps DOD, I don’t know) may be pursuing unnecessary end goals because the critters promise that goal (total safety from spooks).
Thanks for your time. Tirade, pent up for a long time, over.
Dan, could you delete the extras? I hit post once and this happened. I am afraid to sent this message but….
Watching Obama this past year, I have become cynical all over again. I figure it’s the MIC pulling his strings. Thanks for a great post.
Your post is rambling unfocused screed. Yesterday Cheney was Lenin and today he’s a war criminal. I get it, the left does not like Dick Cheney. But from where i’m sitting i’m thinking so what, I don’t like them.
Cheney has it right on how to treat terrorists. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is not a frat boy and was not pulling a prank when he tried to murder all those on flight 253.
These are the simple facts of the case:
On December 25, 2009, Northwest flight 253 flew from Amsterdam to Detroit, carrying 279 passengers and 11 crew members. Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab boarded Flight 253 carrying a concealed bomb designed to allow Abdulmutallab to detonate it at the time of his choosing and to thereby cause an explosion that would have destroyed Flight 253 and killed all those on board.
The government did not have to rush Abdulmutallab into civilian criminal court and offer him miranda rights immediatly. The Attorney general had the discretion to treat him as an enemy combatant and try to extract as much actionable intelligence from him in a timlely manner. General Holder assures us that the defendent will be found guilty and spend the rest of his life in prison. Since there were eye witnesses to his actions on the plane it seems a simple case to prove. Any information that the we might have gotten from him on his activities in Yemen would not have tainted the case because he was caught in the act and there really is no reasonable question of innocense. Holder made a bad judement call by rushing him into the civilian justice system and for this he ought to be fired.
The Supreme Court held in Hamdi v. Rumsfeld that “indefinite detention for the purpose of interrogation is not authorized” but also said in the same case that detention for the purpose of neutralizing an unlawful enemy combatant is permissible and that the only right of such a combatant — even if he is a citizen, and Abdulmutallab is not — is to challenge his classification as such a combatant in a habeas corpus proceeding. This does not include the right to remain silent or the right to a lawyer, but only such legal assistance as may be necessary to file a habeas corpus petition within a reasonable time. That was the basis for my ruling in Padilla v. Rumsfeld that, as a convenience to the court and not for any constitutionally based reason, he had to consult with a lawyer for the limited purpose of filing a habeas petition, but that interrogation need not stop.
So according to the U.S. Supreme court Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab could have been questioned deeply and early in the process. This would have been a sensible way to go since its about our saftey and not the comfort of terrorists, stupid.
Well Cantab, you are a bit behind in your talking points on the underpants bomber. From what I have read he has been singing like a bird because of the rule of law. Of course people can always abuse the law–John Yoo is a lawyer and the Supreme Court consistently gets things wrong that can take a 100 years to correct. I do not think Linda’s point was to bash Cheney although heaven knows he deserves it, but rather to point out how people like you get played by corporate interests. You get all outraged with terrorists, particularly terrorists with a different religion and skin color and support torturing them despite good evidence that it is an ineffective way of obtaining actionable intelligence. The part that you do not get is that Cheney and the rest could give a rats ass about protecting you or the country. Their interest is in continuing wars which line their pockets as well as their buddies in the military industrial complex. As part of the game to play you they paint anyone who disagrees with their policies as “liberal” or on the left. That plays into the generally racist and xenephobic views of “conservatives” who have never gotten over the civil rights legislation of the 60’s.
I haven’t posted on expert opinions on counter terrorism, and former SERE trained and trainer personnel opinion, in awhile. And the ‘enhanced interrogation’ psych people who made stuff up. Time to revisit realistic opinion on the matter as well.
Linda’s column was all over the map. Attacking Cheney was probably more the result of lack of dicipline than sticking to an outline.
From what I have read he has been singing like a bird because of the rule of law.
Can you be specific or are you working on a trust me basis with the FBI. Anway, the Attorney general gave any terrorists that Abdulmutallab might have fingered a 5 week period to make travel plans and lie low until the heat was off. We did not have to do this and this my point and the point of many that object to his actions. And lets be honest here, are you really put out that much if we kick the kids ass as little. After all he did make a legitimate attempt to murder 290 totally innocent people.
Defense spending is a pretty large section of government spending. I certainly would not put it out of bounds in looking at reducing the deficit. Your stories about racist and xenephobic views of “conservatives” are just fairy tails that liberals tell to each other to make them feel better about themselves.
This is just a little off topic, but I need to say it. Some participants here at AB keep insisting that strenuous criticisms of cantab’s endless obfuscation of issues is censorship. Here again we have another example of his ideological rantings and his claims that one poster or another, in this case Linda, is some how in error in what is said. Cantab offers no evidence of his point. He only provides links to repetitions of his ideological screeds. It’s boring. It’ tedious. It takes up time and attention. Tell me what value his comments have to any conversations that have taken place on the AB blog. I see none. I see only some one who like some petulant child wants to scream ouot his opinions without benefit of a basis in fact. It soes truly detract from the value of the conversation.
It looks like Linda was sitting on the sofa using the remote last night flipping through the channels and ended up hearing Dick Cheney say it was a good year for republicans and that President Obama would likely be a one term president. At this point it appears that she went into a red rage and wrote a column.
In her column Linda is calling Cheney a war criminal drawing a comparison to Charles Manson and saying that supporters of Bush & Cheney are guilty like the Nazi war criminals because they voted and supported Cheney. So given that this ugly crazy woman just called me war criminal i’m probably not going to cut her any slack.
She goes on to say defense spending is expensive. I don’t have an argument with that point. Then She links harsh interrogation to a conspiracy drum up enemies and war to feed the military industrial complex. This is nuts.
Jack, if you think that interogations are a ploy to drum up defense spending then you’re as crazy as she is, and probably explains why your posts are next to worthless.
I guess I would put more faith in what the FBI says than politicians who have no source of knowledge but who are seeking to score political points the facts be damned. I think you continue to miss the point of Linda’s post or at least the point I took from it–Cheney is a war criminal not because he authorized torture in a sincere if misguided belief that it was helping protect the country from future terrorist attacks, but because it was a good way to keep the pot boiling so his defense contractor buddies would make more money. As to conservatives, I suspect that I would score a lot more conservative than many self proclaimed conservatives if we took out the social issues. Conservatives label people “liberal” or not based on those social issues not their lifestyle, views on the size or role of government, or economic theory. Certainly there are genuine conservatives who are not racist and xenophobic, but now you are talking about a very small group of people and I doubt if that is your position either
you’re taking second hand accounts from politicians, talk show hosts, and what’s reported in the press that this guy who was yesturday trying to murder 290 innocent people is today a talkative witness. It seem too neat to me.
I label people as liberal that are from the left. I actually see them a very conservative in their behvior but the language has been corrupted so why fight it. The pot boiling thing is a loon conspiracy theory fit only for the flavor-aid drinkers. This is not a conspiracy theory blog but if it become one I’ll be out of here (this should make jack happy).
On conservatives and being xenophobic it seems like the religious Christian right is doing important work fighting Aids in Africa (and since its Africa there goes you’re racism angle too).
Lenin in many folks’ mind, along with many unindicted westerners, is a war criminal.
Militarism is a huge problem sustained by psywar against the US population.
Whenever buffpilot says “Islam will change” he infers at any cost in Muslim lives and US treasure.
Treasure better spent elsewhere.
When no one calls buff on it, it is like the US in 1954 telling the Vietnamese there were Peoples’ Republic of China Divisions ready to roll into Hanoi, when in reality Ho was as willing to the Red Chniese as fight the imperialists.
Get away from ad hominems and try arguing facts, and draw sustained consclusions.
How do you know Linda “went into a red rage”, and why would anything she said be false?
The red rage is not an argument against what she said.
The militarists are plundering the US economy.
See, the fact that by now they want theoir payments for the F-35 even though it has flown 3% of the hours needed to justify their payments.
I am going “into a red rage” over that pillaging of my tax money!
Linda called me a nazi war criminal, deal with this or shut up.
I agree. Buff and his “Islam will change” campaign is a threat to this countries liberties and treasure. He is trying to incite war pure and simple. America is not right to smash countries, kill people and torture whom ever, based on the possibility that we might have another terrrorist attack opon our soil. This callow hypocrisy that allows other wise decent people to support America’s genocidal policies is a dark entry on this nations ledger. And people like buff who promote America’s killing machine should be shamed and denouced as a homicidal maniacs were ever they. Buff needs to change
I think the Cheney Manson connnection is valid. They’re both homicidal criminals.
Cheney should be indicted for willfully misleading this nation into an unnecessary war, that has ruined Americas position in the world and devastated whole peoples across the globe. How can christains be so mind numbingly dumb to think that this is what Jesus would want? Maybe dumb ass christains need to change as well.
You are such a deceitful fool. Did you even take the time to read Linda’s ppost carefully. Or did you give it the Evelyn Wood skim over. Linda referenced Washington, who said not that cantab was anything. Here’s the pertinent paragraph for you to read over a few time so that you may actually understand and maybe stop misleading yourself.
“Washington notes that the mainstream media’s approach to Cheney–letting him argue for torture without ever challenging him with tough questions–is “no different than interviewing Charles Manson and letting him argue–without challenge–that murder is a great thing.” And we are all guilty. “By failing to demand that torture stop and those who ordered it–like Cheney–be held to account, Americans are complicit in war crimes, just like the Germans who failed to stand up to Hitler were complicit in crimes against humanity.”
You’re wasting our time and this sites space with your childish rants. You can’t even accurately make referenceto things said. Or, and more likely, you’re simply a duplicitous turd intent on obfuscating the conversation and distracting others with your lies, exaggerations and misconceptions.
Is there any chance that anyone commenting on Cheney being a “war criminal” has read “The Looming Tower: Al Queda and the Road to 9/11”?
I suspect not as I have not read here that the facts are that although a generation grew up knowing nothing about Islam, it intends to set-up a caliphaate in America and must be stopped.
If “The Looming Tower” is too encyclopedic, perhaps you mioght want to try Mark Steyn’s, “America Alone” to realize that we are being bred out of existence by Muslims. You can’t argue demographics. They have 5+ more kids per woman in Europe and they name them all Mohammed. If you wish your children to live under Sharia Law, just keep blaming America for taking steps to survive.
“to realize that we are being bred out of existence by Muslims. You can’t argue demographics.”
I was raised as the oldest of five Catholic kids. None of us currently practice Catholicism. My wife is the oldest of four Catholic kids. None of them practice Catholicism. By Wright “logic,” Catholics were breeding Protestants out of existence in the US during the 20th century. The reality is that the religion of your parents isn’t necessarily your religion. Wright is posting old-time religious bigotry.
As usual you are all rage and no brain. This is what Linda said.
“And we are all guilty. “By failing to demand that torture stop and those who ordered it–like Cheney–be held to account, Americans are complicit in war crimes, just like the Germans who failed to stand up to Hitler were complicit in crimes against humanity.”
I support aggresive interrogation of the terrorists. I voted for Bush/Cheney twice. Because of this Linda says “just like the Germans who failed to stand up to Hitler were complicit in crimes against humanity”. So she is saying i’m complicit in crimes against humanity.
By the way, you’re failed Jihad against me makes you look weak and foolish.
Wright’s book was apparently highly acclaimed, containing a great deal of not readily available information and offering significant insight into the Islamic terrorist phenomenon. One review goes a bit beyond offering such praise. The comments of that reviewer, himself a Muslim, are worth contemplating for its own insights into the unusual relationships between the Islamists and the US security apparatus. http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2006/sep/09/shopping.politics1
Kind of shocked to see Cantab’s happy fascism and Wright’s “brown people breeding like rabbits” racism at this site. I’m glad they’re here, I guess – maybe some reality will rub penetrate their skulls.
But such a great reminder of how little people know about history…..and the Constitution.
The kid set out to murder 290 people in the name of Islam and Al Quida. Kicking his ass and dunking him in water a few times to get infomation on the people that trained him, designed his bomb, and sent him on his missing is not fascism. If you think it is please provide a recognized definition on fascism and show how taking these actions apply. I don’t think you can do it.
“Kicking his ass and dunking him in water a few times to get infomation on the people that trained him, designed his bomb, and sent him on his missing(sic) is not fascism” TheDistorter
Nice distraction from the facts of life. How many times do you have to be reminded that abusive interrogations elicit little useful information and more subtle, gentle and coercive techniques bring the most out of the potential informant. This has been clearly demonstrated by the interrogation of “the kid” as you call him. But you are correct in notiing that such techniques are not necssarily facism though fascists and other form of tyrants seem to have a preference for such techniques. The difference is that they are not looking for the truth. They, like you, are only intent on trying to prove what isn’t true.
How many times do you have to be reminded that abusive interrogations elicit little useful information and more subtle, gentle and coercive techniques bring the most out of the potential informant.
This is not believable because the pros out in the field are using the techniques. And they do it other countries too. I don’t believe they beat Richard Reid. Do you care to make a list of what information he provided.
A lot of soldiers have gone through training that involves physical abuse. Why should the kid get less than in a training exercise. His guilt is beyond and doubt and the evidence against him can’t be tainted by any interrogation he will go through.
As a country we will torture when we deen cirumstances justify it. We either explicitly say you can torture or we say it’s illegal and then after someone has used it find them not guilty of a crime because they did it out of necessity. I prefer the former since it seems more honest to me. Ragardless, we will do it in the future.
By the way you in a fit of drama promised to go away — so why are you hear? Are you a man of your word or not?
“As a country we will torture when we deen cirumstances justify it. We either explicitly say you can torture or we say it’s illegal and then after someone has used it find them not guilty of a crime because they did it out of necessity. I prefer the former since it seems more honest to me. Ragardless, we will do it in the future.” Cantab, from his new book, “Patriotism Run Amuk.”
Boy, denying the facts won’t make your childish suggestions any more valid. As noted, torture gives the perpetrator the answers that he wants to hear rather than the facts of the matter. Sure, I could devise ways by which I could coerce you to say anything. If I want to get at the truth of what you may know I’d have to be more subtle and make a confederate out of you. That you want to use useless, but sadistic tactics, says more about you than you think. But then you don’t generally think too much about what it is that you say.
How did you establish as fact that aggressive interogation techniques don’t work. Experts in the field say they do work so I don’t think you have a right to claim as fact that they don’t.
And you’re still arguing with a chip on your should and out of anger.
This column is generally against torture but they provide the case of Abdul Hakim Murad as one where torture worked.
IN 1995, the police in the Philippines tortured Abdul Hakim Murad after finding a bomb-making factory in his apartment in Manila. They broke his ribs, burned him with cigarettes, forced water down his throat, then threatened to turn him over to the Israelis. Finally, from this withered and broken man came secrets of a terror plot to blow up 11 airliners, crash another into the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency and to assassinate the pope.
“It worked,” said Alan M. Dershowitz, a professor of law at Harvard who has written about the potential necessity of torture in the post-9/11 world. “It took what is called ‘torture lite’ and nonlethal torture to break him down and reveal truthful information that may have saved many lives.”
If those being tortured don’t know what you want to learn and they make stuff up you can find this out by checking their stories. Maybe the Christmas bomber would have made things up when asked what he did not know, and maybe he would have provided information on things that he did know. The interrogation’s purpose is to generate leads that can be checked for see if they are true or not.
“Many pros are using the techniques”-no actually.
How romantic. And Alan D. is such an experts on anecdotes.
How romantic. And Alan D. is such an experts on anecdotes.
Alan Dershowitz is an expert on the law. Learn the players.
An article in the NY Times and validation from Alan Dershowitz. What greater authorities do we need to validate the value of torturing a suspect. And Tomás de Torquemada was doing God’s work. We need to take a vote to determine the greatest legal scholar, Dershowitz vs John Yoo.
Jack your claim as fact that aggressive interrogation are not effective as fact is refuted by experts in the law and experts in intelligence. Now you attack them like you attack me because they contradict you. Your attacks are not effective because of the weakness of your argument. I don’t think that most liberals know the meaning of the word fact.
Jack your claim as fact that aggressive interrogation are not effective as fact is refuted by experts in the law and experts in intelligence. Now you attack them like you attack me because they contradict you. Your attacks are not effective because of the weakness of your argument. You’re analogy to Torquemada is not meaningful here because we really don’t care what religion they practice in the Middle East or Africa but object to those that would down an airplane and murder 290 innocent people.
Jack your claim as fact that aggressive interrogation are not effective is refuted by experts in the law and experts in intelligence. Now you attack them like you attack me because they contradict you. Your attacks are not effective because of the weakness of your argument. You’re analogy to Torquemada is not meaningful here because we really don’t care what religion they practice in the Middle East or Africa but object to those that would down an airplane and murder 290 innocent people.
As usual you don’t and can’t provide any support for your assertions. Everything that I have read and all that I have studied in the field of psychology refutes your claims regarding the effectiveness of torture. Then you offer up “experts” such as Dershowitz, who only has his knnowledge of the law to judge by and even that he is willing to compromise. The analogy to Torquemada is certainly appropriate as we are discussing how to make an unwilling person give up information that they may have. The motives of the torturer are not relevant to our judgement of his techniques. And that doesn’t even touch upon the moral issues involved with torturing for the purpose of eliciting information.
The historical footage in this clip shows clearly that Torquemada was using using torture to force people to convert or repent.
Is that supposed to be supportive data for your argument which, by the way, has nothing to do with the prior discussion? That clip is a re-enactment of a supposed episode in history. So what? And no one is arguing about anyhting to do with forced religious converstion. You are trying to prove an irrelevant point. If anything the Inquisition, with Torquemada at the helm, pretty much established that you can torture anything out of anyone so long as they know what it is that they are expected to say. Like, “I repent.” Or, “Yes, I’m a witch and my dog is Satan.” Or, “I’d be so happy to become a good Catholic.” Proof positive that torture gets results. The only question then is what good are those results.
You do like to play the fool.