The Myth of the Ticking Time Bomb


Paul's picture

Thanks for re-posting this article; I hadn't seen it before.
"Number five: These dismal conclusions lead to a last, uncomfortable question: If torture produces limited gains at such high political cost, why does any rational American leader condone interrogation practices "tantamount to torture"?

One answer to this question seems to lie with a prescient CIA Cold War observation about Soviet leaders in times of stress. "When feelings of insecurity develop within those holding power," reads an agency analysis of Kremlin leadership applicable to the post-9/11 White House, "they become increasingly suspicious and put great pressures upon the secret police to obtain arrests and confessions. At such times, police officials are inclined to condone anything which produces a speedy 'confession,' and brutality may become widespread." In sum, the powerful often turn to torture in times of crisis, not because it works but because it salves their fears and insecurities with the psychic balm of empowerment."
I used to think that the acceptance of torture signaled the deserved end of this country, but now it looks like the deserved end of this country is what causes torture to happen - that it is inevitable that the ruling class would adopt it. I just hope the end comes soon, so this madness can stop.