Politics, Sex, Religion, and all those impolite Human Conversations...

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Location: Oaksterdam, California

Monday, November 21, 2005

Torture, Has it got a Future?

I must admit I have always been fascinated by torture.

First hand I got to see torture museums in Amsterdam and Milan. Both were held in ancient, dank stone enclosures, mostly for effect I think. A perfect background effect for the replicas of torture devices, the rack, the shoe, and the most famous Iron Maiden.

Devices for rending flesh, permanently incapacitating a victim, were on display. Quite a bit of it hearkened back to the time of the Inquisition, when the practice was to extract a confession of heretical beliefs. Much of it caused permanent harm and organ failure. Oddly enough, much of it was directly sexual. Extract confessions by tearing the soft flesh of sexual organs, or bounce them on sharp pyramidal object on their anus or vagina. Almost all damage was irreversible and led to death or disfigurement.

My fascination was not in the technique, per se, rather it was in the depravity - to use the Latin, Homo homini lupus , or Man is a wolf towards man.

Actually I've never believed wolves are that evil, yet mankind obviously is.

Historically torture has been used for punishment, like for cruel and unusual execution. Broken on the wheel is a euphemism for smashing ones arms and legs until they thread jelly-fish like through the spokes of a wagon wheel. The Inquisition saved a few souls by using this technique, others were burned alive.

But if you really want to put down an insurrection, look no farther than Julius Cesar, who civilized the Gauls, and who put down their revolt by purposely blinding and cutting of the hands off of 250,000 defeated warriors. Now that sure taught them a lesson. Plus it had the added benefit of keeping regular people busy caring for the survivors. That sure quelled that insurgency.

But we are better than that, right? We are beyond punishment and we don't do torture. Not to the point of irreparable harm or organ failure. At least that's the way the Administration defines it.

We are modern, we have science. Maybe if we have more science, scientific miracles even, we can drill holes in people and then use cellular regeneration to restore them, and then drill some more holes.

Maybe we can ascertain that detainees have a fear of rats and then threaten them with it. Put caged rats right next to the face; tell them the rodents will only eat the soft tissue. That'll make 'em talk.

Possibly we can come up with a device that'll make one think that their hand is be being melted off the bone. All without it happening.

I'm sure eventually we can come up with a system that will psychotronically extract the thoughts and memories of a detainee. Unfortunately early techniques will require the removal of brain matter through the nasal cavity; possibly the death of personality might occur. After many trials it will be just a bright light and a chair to suck out that actionable intelligence

Given time it will be more like date rape. No, saying no, won't matter. Just tell us what we want to know.

Also, what's a little rape? After all,in this country we celebrate when freaks go to ass-pound prison. Why should suspected terrorists expect anything less? At least there is no organ failure. Promoting torture should not have any impact on own society, right?

So does torture have future? I once thought that the American Ideal was fighting for the advancement of the rights of man. Now I think we've only got an advancement that goes one century forward and then two centuries backwards.

(Edited for clarity and tone)