Friday, October 02, 2009

Friday Dinner Party Conversation Stopper

“There is nothing against you. But there is no innocent person here. So, you should confess to something so you can be charged and sentenced and serve your sentence and then go back to your family and country, because you will not leave this place innocent.”

- U.S. interrogator, cited here, as spoken to Fouad al-Rabiah, tortured by the United States government despite knowledge of al Rabiah's innocence in order to exact a false confession. See Andy Worthington's account here.

As I've said a hundred times, torture is never ever solely about information, when at all. Torture germinates in a desire for vengeance and brute domination. Furthermore, the very logic of information-seeking through torture leads to an ever-expanding institution driven by its own internal logical circularity, which is in turn fueled by the falseness of its information. One result is that the determination of actual guilt or innocence is rendered irrelevant. It is the most final of collapses into the vortex of moral relativism. For more, I recommend this book.

1 comment:

MT said...

Illustrates that the nature of the institution can be whatever an interrogator is allowed to lead his or her prisoner to imagine it is--at least from the perspective of the victim.