What torture really does (for the zillionth time)

I’m seeing reports on Twitter that protesters who have been detained by the Iranian regime have suffered severe injuries from rapes that have occurred within the prisons. Stories too have emerged of detainees compelled to lick toilets (possibly out of thirst). Confessions extracted through torture are presented in the courts.

It is well that the United States keeps its mouth shut. For its own record in Bagram and in Guantanamo is little better. Just like the Iranian regime, the U.S. regime wants to present confessions in court, or if they are unacceptable there, then in military tribunals. Convictions are the goal, not justice, as the Obama administration upholds the crimes of its predecessors.

Interrogation experts know that torture doesn’t work. According to U.S. Army Field Manual 34-52, chapter 1, “The goal of any interrogation is to obtain usable and reliable information,” but social scientists understand that the goal of torture is not information but intimidation, not so much even of the victim but of the surrounding society.

And that’s why — there was an earlier question about has the President said anything to people in his own party — they’re reminders to all Americans that they need to watch what they say, watch what they do.

Iranian society is to fear the Iranian regime. Muslims around the world are to fear the U.S. government. U.S. citizens are to fear the U.S. government.

Information is not the goal. Justice is not the goal. Submission is the goal.

Author: benfell

David Benfell holds a Ph.D. in Human Science from Saybrook University. He earned a M.A. in Speech Communication from CSU East Bay in 2009 and has studied at California Institute of Integral Studies. He is an anarchist, a vegetarian ecofeminist, a naturist, and a Taoist.

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