Tortured logic

If an interrogation technique is painful enough to make a person divulge information that they would not have otherwise divulged, in order to make the pain stop, it's torture. It's that simple. You can't use pain to gain a confession. There are studies of evidence showing that tortured prisoners will confess to anything and everything to avoid further pain. If you don't believe it, read 1984 again. If a technique is so soft (as "walling" supposedly is) that we can describe its effects on the prisoner as "not torture," then it probably wouldn't make anyone reveal anything. But if that assumption is correct, then why were the interrogators using the technique? The only possible argument is that the information we received from torturing prisoners prevented attacks on US, and this benefit outweighs the harm to our reputation, our flaunting of the Geneva Convention, the reciprocal pain that American POWs can expect from now on when they're captured, and the droves of Arabs who want to join terrorist groups to get back at us for torturing their fellow citizens. But we've been given no evidence that the information gained from torture foiled any specific plots. In any event, the marginal benefit from the 183rd waterboarding of a single prisoner is low. We tortured prisoners. Someone high up in the Bush administration either authorized this torture, knew about it and allowed it to proceed, or had no idea, which given this administration, is possible, but sad.

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