Saturday, May 09, 2009


Among the respondents to the New York Times article "Interrogation Memos: Inquiry Suggests No Charges" (May 6, 2009) and editorial "The Torture Debate: The Lawyers" (May 7, 2009) is my friend Sasha Nyary of Heading Home Again with these thoughtful remarks:
With all this talk about what defines torture, I’d like to know what kind of person does this to another person. That is, what kind of person strips someone, hoods him, slaps him, slams him against a wall, places him in “stress positions” or isolation for prolonged periods of time, intimidates him with a dog, and yes, straps him onto a board and pours water down his throat in order to make him think he is about to die. And does this repeatedly, for weeks and months at a time.

I would be mortified if my child grew up to think these actions aren’t torture. But I would find it unspeakable to know that I had raised a child capable of inflicting this behavior on another human being, no matter how despicable that person’s presumed crime.
Related: Ghosts of Abu Ghraib

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