17 October 2009

more torture

"The 25 lines edited out of the court papers contained details of how Mr Mohamed's genitals were sliced with a scalpel and other torture methods so extreme that waterboarding, the controversial technique of simulated drowning, "is very far down the list of things they did," the official said. "

Reported as part of the British High Court ruling (pending appeal) on the documents relating to a joint-CIA/British detention and interrogation/torture of a British national. More here.

People really need to keep in mind that coercion has levels. But beyond a line, a line drawn in international and US law, that coercion becomes something else. Something like a window into the darker corners of the human condition. If the Brits can release information like this and doing so won't (on its own) affect negatively their security presence and abilities, why can't we? It seems to me that there are times when the public needs to know what is done in its defence so it can judge the costs and benefits of continuing to do it and start to understand the depths of what is in fact being done (without referring instead and only to popular media conceptions of what is being done).
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