Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, October 10, 2003 7:44 pm

Coercion … or torture?

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 7:44 pm

Recently, three U.S. servicemen were arrested on suspicion of trying to smuggle “classified information” out of the prisoner detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. According to this analysis, they might well be guilty of a serious crime. But one could infer from this story, they might well have been trying — also or instead — to report that prisoners were being tortured. Not just coerced, not just sleep-deprived, but “good old-fashioned torture, as people would have understood it in the Dark Ages,” as an attorney for some of the detainees describes it.

I have no idea what the facts are. I have no idea who’s right. And God knows I understand the stakes. But I have worried from the start of our military action against terrorists that the level of secrecy and lack of due process surrounding our interrogation of these prisoners would lead to a bad end. Torture dehumanizes everyone involved with it — victim, torturer and all those the torturer represents. It also directly and completely negates that upon which this nation was founded and which it purports to represent to the rest of the world.

We have no way of knowing for sure, but we are told that interrogations of detainees at Gitmo have provided valuable information in combatting terrorism. But it would have to be very valuable information indeed to be worth purchase at the cost of our national soul and our individual humanity.

1 Comment

  1. […] his view in that direction is objectively wrong. Some of us — many of us, in fact — were saying AT THE TIME that it was important to preserve our humane values, such as they were, while pursuing the 9/11 perps, even as we feared that the crew in power was about the last group […]

    Pingback by Well, on torture, Obama is now officially As Bad As Bush | Blog on the Run: Reloaded — Sunday, August 3, 2014 3:49 pm @ 3:49 pm

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