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April 21, 2009

Andrew Sullivan Crafts New Definition of Torture, This One Involving Souls or Somethin'

Safe link to Tom Maguire.

It is to subject captives to such levels of physical or mental pain or suffering that they "have reached the limit of their ability to withhold [information] in the face of psychological and physical hardship." This is, in fact, as close to a definition of torture as you are likely to find.

Rule One: Any coercive technique that actually works is therefore torture.

This seems a contradiction from her latest claim that these "torture never works;" now we learn that only actual torture works, because the moment a threat or the withholding of privileges and comforts is successful in extracting information, it becomes torture.

It must be torture -- after all, it elicited life-saving information!

From torture never works to if it works it must be torture. And this is one of the more minor "Forget what I've been writing for the past six years" sudden reversals of Sullivan's.

And then... we also have to start worrying about souls 'n shit.

Zubaydah understood that torture is the imposition of sufficient physical or psychological pain or suffering to cause even religious fanatics, who believe their very souls are at stake, to have no choice but to submit.

We already had to worry about physical injury and mental harm. But Sullivan has opened the discussion up now to include spiritual wellness as well.

One last little thing: Sullivan's new "protect the soul" imperative seems crafted specifically to give additional protections to religious-fanatic terrorists and not non-religious-fanatic terrorists, like, say, Tim McVeigh. Tim McVeigh had a lot of crazy beliefs and a head full of bad chemicals, but these were mere "mindthoughts," rather than the "soulpatterns" of Al Qaeda fanatics that Sullivan now deems it imperative we guard from all possible harm.

The cross-dressing crazy aunt of the Internet has really gone around the bend.

Thanks to DrewM. and someone.

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posted by Ace at 04:08 PM

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