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Friday, January 28, 2011

Why They Torture (video)

Last Saturday the weekly demonstrations for and against the wars in West Chester, PA were joined by some special visitors. One was an activist I only know as Barbara advocating the closure of the Guantanamo Bay Detention Camp in Cuba. This is a US military facility that has been the subject of much controversy. Terror suspects are kept there and many are tortured.

The other visitor was local conservative talk show host, and advocate of torture, Dom Giordano. He spent most of his time with the pro war demonstrators though he did come across the street to talk to us peaceful people a couple of times. The video below records two of his interviews. He engages Barbara in a lively debate on the subject of torture and Guantanamo. She handles Giordano's arguments extremely well:

In all of the debate about torture the real reasons for it are sometimes missed. Please read the explanation this author gave for it. The article below was originally published at on April 30, 2008:

Why They Torture

There's been much debate for the last several years about the US government and it's allies use of torture. The articles are too numerous to mention and there's been at least one movie, Rendition.

The arguments pro torture generally revolve around gathering intelligence. I'd like to suggest that this is largely false. Extracting information from people is just the excuse used to cover the real reasons for torturing. There are basically two.

The first is to break enemy leaders and potential leaders. Leave them in such a broken state of mind that they can't effectively organize opposition to the US government. This is bad enough, but it begs the question of who's being tortured? Going after potential leaders inevitably means that many innocents will be hauled in.

The second reason for torturing is intimidation. Trying to strike fear in those who would oppose the US government. Submit or this could happen to you.

History will judge the US as harshly as it has the Roman Empire, which we have equaled if not surpassed. For all the Roman's technical and scientific achievements they are most remembered for their brutality. Sadly, so it will be for the US. This is what people will see of us one thousand years from now. This is the monster that the quest for empire has turned the republic into.

In advocating the adoption of the Declaration of independence, Richard Henry Lee said, "Why then, sir, why do we longer delay? Why still deliberate? Let this happy day give birth to an American republic. Let her arise, not to devastate and to conquer, but to reestablish the reign of peace and of law." How far we have strayed from the ideals of the Founders.


  1. I would just add one more reason that tyrants use torture: in order to obtain FALSE confessions, that they then use to justify their own power-grabs and control-freakism. Torture, moral or not, is utterly worthless for information gathering, but quite useful for MISinformation creation. They torture you until you falsely confess, then they publicly punish you, to show their underlings how they are "protecting" everyone.

  2. The correct response to torture is murder. The man who hurts you, and whom you kill, will never bother you again.

  3. Hi Larken, great to see you commenting on my blog. When will we see you joining us in West Chester?

    Anonymous, I'm generally not one to endorse violence though you have a point. If someone tortures you, you have a right to retaliate.

    Thanks for the comments.