Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Richard Cohen claims torture works. He writes in The Washington Post today that he believes torture is morally reprehensible but nevertheless he thinks it is effective:

"Yet the debate over torture has been infected with silly arguments about utility: whether it works or not. Of course it works -- sometimes or rarely, but if a proverbial bomb is ticking, that may just be the one time it works. I refer you to the 1995 interrogation by Philippine authorities of Abdul Hakim Murad, an al-Qaeda terrorist who served up extremely useful information about a plot to blow up airliners when he was told that he was about to be turned over to Israel's Mossad. As George Orwell suggested in "1984," everyone has his own idea of torture."

But what Cohen forgets or omits is that it works only if you grab the right guy. If you grab some guy like Christopher Hitchens or some other innocent party, thinking him to be a terrorist, torture does not work and will never work.

I say to Richard Cohen, you are no better in your ethics or in your intellectual analysis than the churchmen in the late middle ages who believed that the wrack and the test by water would make "heretics" confess. Out of 100 people subject to the dripping of the water, how many do you think confessed that they were in Satan's service? They all confessed!

So use torture with all 200+ inmates at Guantanamo and they will all admit that they were part of the Qaeda conspiracy.

And by the way don't stop with merely using water torture. Find that old branding iron and heat it very hot. Then resurrect the wrack, you know, the one with the pulleys. I am sure that you will obtain a lot of "useful information."

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