Friday, May 13, 2005

Torture’s Dirty Secret: "This is torture’s true purpose: to terrorize—not only the people in Guantanamo’s cages and Syria’s isolation cells but also, and more important, the broader community that hears about these abuses. Torture is a machine designed to break the will to resist—the individual prisoner’s will and the collective will.

"This is not a controversial claim. In 2001 the US NGO Physicians for Human Rights published a manual on treating torture survivors that noted: “perpetrators often attempt to justify their acts of torture and ill treatment by the need to gather information. Such conceptualizations obscure the purpose of torture….The aim of torture is to dehumanize the victim, break his/her will, and at the same time, set horrific examples for those who come in contact with the victim. In this way, torture can break or damage the will and coherence of entire communities.”

"Yet despite this body of knowledge, torture continues to be debated in the United States as if it were merely a morally questionable way to extract information, not an instrument of state terror."

Jenny Brockie and a whole SBS studio full of people discredited themselves recently by 'debating' the proposition that torture may be justified by the gaining of information. Torture is a tool of tyranny and dictatorship. Its purpose is to terrorise and suppress the population. Failure to understand this or to protest vigourously against it is to make oneself an accomplice to barbaric torture. De-nazification is needed, it seems, not only in the US, but also in Australia.

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