` Learn from the masters — imaginary family values

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Sgt. Javal S. Davis, 372nd MP Company, stated in his sworn statement…that he had heard [Military Intelligence officers] insinuate to the guards to abuse the inmates. When asked what MI said, he stated: “Loosen this guy up for us. Make sure he has a bad night. Make sure he gets the treatment.”

Article 15–6 Investigation of the 800th Military Police Brigade

[B]ecause [the Federal torture statute, 18 USC §2340] requires that a defendant act with the sepecific intent to inflict severe pain, the infliction of such pain must be the defendant’s precise objective…

[E]ven if the defendant knows that severe pain will result from his actions, if causing such harm is not his objective, he lacks the requisite specific intent even though the defendant did not act in good faith…

[I]f a defendant has a good faith belief that his actions will not result in prolonged mental harm, he lacks the mental state necessary for his actions to constitute torture…

If a government defendant were to harm an enemy combatant during an interrogation in a manner that might arguably violate criminal prohibition, he would be doing so in order to prevent further attacks on the United States by the al Qaida terrorist network. In that case, [the Department of Justice] belives that he could argue that the excutive branch’s constitutional authority to protect the nation from attack justified his actions.

Working Group Report on Detainee Interrogations in the Global War on Terrorism, a.k.a. the “torture memo”

“My colleagues had similar experiences. It was the only possible way to obtain results. The regulations were observed; not a prisoner was actually touched. But it happened that they had to witness—so to speak accidentally—the execution of their fellow prisoners. The effect of such scenes is partly mental, partly physical. Another example: there are showers and baths for reasons of hygeine. That in winter the heating and hot-water pipes did not always function, was due to technical difficulties; and the duration of the baths depended on the attendants. Sometimes, again, the heating and hot-water apparatus functioned all too well; that equally depended on the attendants. They were all old comrades; it was not necessary to give them detailed instructions; they understood what was at stake.”

“That’ll about do,” said Ivanov.

“You asked me how I came to discover my theory and I am explaining it to you,” said Gletkin. “What matters is, that one should keep in mind the logical necessity of it all; otherwise one is a cynic, like you. It is getting late and I must go.”

—Arthur Koestler, Darkness at Noon

see also Balkinization and Discourse.net banging their heads against the wall

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    Learn from the masters — imaginary family values

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