With all these movies out as of late, Rendition, The Kingdom, Lions for Lambs, etc. amidst all this Michael Mukasey hooplah, the I find idea of torture has been a frequent topic of discussion.

While speaking about it yesterday, a fellow student mentioned that we really can’t comment on what is and is not torture and that our musings were merely “academic” in nature.


I don’t know about this guy, but I surely do not need to actually experience the act of drowning to know that it would suck. Couple that act with four or five men holding you down while doing it continuously for hours on end…Academic? Is he kidding?

I am in full realization that this is a damn messy world. I have no doubt that the government deals with murderers and whack jobs on a daily basis. And being a Facist by nature, when people hijack planes full of civilians, women and children, and uses them as a weapon of attack, I’m the first one calling for blood. Some people in this world simply need dyin’ and some people in this world need to do their best to help them along.

However, when it comes to torture, I am of mixed emotion. Simply for the fact that it has been shown to be unreliable when used as a means of extracting information. If you have psychologically prepared for the pain, you can get through pretty much anything. I know of what I speak.

Due to various and complicated reasons, I can not and do not accept anesthesia. Being the case, I have had teeth pulled, stitches inserted, various dislocated limbs and appendages popped back into place and other minor procedures performed without the benefit of being numb. I don’t claim any special tolerance for pain, because it’s pain, by nature, it hurts, badly, horrifically, and in ways you can’t imagine, but being prepared for that pain and accepting that pain can put you in a state of mind to deal with it almost calmly.

There is the psychological component of therapuetic pain that comes with the understanding that the pain will end, that the pain is for a good reason, however, there’s always twists and turns that follow that road. I had a tooth pulled recently that had fused with my jaw. A twenty minute extraction turned into a two hour ordeal. I wasn’t prepared for two hours, I was prepared for twenty minutes, and that kink in the plan sent me into a tailspin. But after a few minutes of freaking out, I was able to regroup and, I don’t know how to explain this, but the best way to describe it is that you just take your mind away from it all and and focus on something else. The sick and scary part is, I have had things like this happen so many times throughout my life, I am now an old pro at it.

And it’s not like I have any secret-squirrel-CIA training or anything like that, I’m just doing what I need to to get through that moment and if that is the case, I can only assume someone who is suffering tremendous amounts of pain and fearing for their life, will most likely tell you anything and I am not sure that is so much the pain as it is the fear of what may or may not come next.

Now, if you nab a fellow who’s blown up an embassy, lacks meaningful information, and you merely want to get your kicks by making him feel terribly bad about if for a long while, then by all means, have at it. I never claimed to be a paramount of vrture. My lust for revenge is as broad as any others. However, torture used as a means to an end, as a matter of course, and simply because you lack any better tactic in the light of this tactic’s obvious flaws…