- Extreme mental distress
- Unbearable physical pain
- Intense feelings of suffering; acute mental or physical pain
- The deliberate, systematic, or wanton infliction of physical or mental suffering by one or more persons in an attempt to force another person to yield information or to make a confession or for any other reason
How can you!
How can I?
How can I do it?
How could I even consider it?
It’s my job.
He deserves it.
He knows something.
As the most intelligent species on the planet it stands to reason that we could come up with something so cruel. No other species has been able to think up this one, so I guess that makes us kind of unique. And what an honour, to be unique in, not only killing a fellow member of our species, but making him suffer with unbearable physical, or mental pain first. Truly a remarkable achievement.
Governments are well known specialists, the military too, it’s part of the training you know! Organised crime gangs are notorious users of torture as well. After all, it normally gets you what you want. And what you want is information. They want to know when the attack will take place, where the money is, who you told, who else is involved, where the guns are, what your mission is, or why you betrayed us.
Do you notice they aren’t torturing someone to find out anything nice? That would be absurd, wouldn’t it? “Where’s the restaurant?” “What time does the next bus come?” “What is on at the cinema tonight?” “Are the shops still open?” “Tell us now or we’ll kill you!”
No. Torture is reserved for people who “breach national security,” “are involved with terrorism,” “are agents of enemy states,” “have passed information to the enemy,” or perhaps “are planning an attack.” For organised crime it is likely to be “anyone who is against them, or who does something to upset them.” So on that basis we’ll leave them out of this discussion for now.
So as we can see, torture is an instrument of war “the waging of armed conflict against an enemy.” Well that all seems pretty clear.
In war, your mission is to overcome the enemy by any means necessary, so I guess all things considered to be torture, are as excusable as bullets, missiles, anti-personnel mines, rocket propelled grenades, cluster bombs, or basically anything that can explode and kill human beings. Yes, I think torture sits quite nicely with all the other instruments of war, and is perhaps in a way kinder, as killing is not the main objective – whereas you couldn’t really say that about a cluster bomb could you?
And while we’re at it, the person who is being tortured only has themselves to blame for the pain and the agony, because if they told their torturers what they wanted to know it would all be over quickly. The problem is that the people being tortured have also been trained not to say anything, so that makes the whole sorry situation all drawn out.
Torture is such a wide and varied craft. From simple things, like not letting the person sleep for a week, to more varied methods, such as removing a finger, holding their head under water, or using electrodes on genitals. It’s so hard to keep track of new developments.
There is only so much pain that the body can take before blacking out, and the torturers take extra care to keep the pain level under that threshold, so you stay conscious throughout the whole process. They may eventually kill you, even if you give them the information, so most people hold out for as long as they can. Of course, torturers aren’t bad people, so they’ll let you have some water, maybe a bite to eat if your lucky, talk nicely to you, just so they can torture you some more. After all, a dead body isn’t any good to them, well at least not until they’ve got the information they wanted!
Had enough yet?
I have. How can one human being inflict this amount of suffering on another human being. Are they such monsters, these torturers? Do they have sadistic tendencies (sexual pleasure obtained by inflicting harm (physical or psychological) on others)? That maybe so, but I don’t think that’s it. Do they have no empathy (understanding and entering into another’s feelings) with the rest of the human race? Perhaps.
But even if you have never tortured anyone – and I hope you haven’t – I would like you to consider this.
Imagine you are a torturer. You torture people to get nationally important information from them.
The only people you torture are “bad people,” set on destroying your way of life. Now, imagine that the person with electrodes on their testicles was your father, and imagine the girl being half drowned while gasping for air was your daughter. Someone you love is being subjected to unbearable mental or physical pain, what would you feel? What would you do?
They have, through conditioning, become involved with plots to blow up buildings and people, they have lost sight of love and are only thinking negatively. Do you still love them? Could you bear to see them suffer? Could you torture them yourself, even if it was your job? This is a very important question because the people being tortured are someone’s son or someone’s father. Somebody loves them the same way you love your family and couldn’t bear to see them suffer either.
I hear you saying: “What if this man was about to detonate a nuclear weapon and kill millions of people, wouldn’t it be justified then?”
Let me just say that someone always has justification for something in the world, and we are trying to reach a point together, where this scenario will not exist. When there is clarity of mind, there will be no one trying to kill millions of people for an idea, a thought. Negative thought is a sickness of the mind, and we should feel compassion for these people, and try to guide them back to love. Fighting hate with hate will only produce more hate.
Let’s come back to the torturers. What we are trying to understand together is the ability of a human being, whom we believe can feel empathy when seeing another human being suffer, to willingly inflict unbearable pain and suffering on another. We do not know if they actively enjoy it, but we have to assume that through unclear thinking, this is a distinct possibility, as we know that some people with psychopathic tendencies – who enjoy the power over another – have the ability to do this without any remorse.
Do you agree? Or could a soldier, government agent, or someone who has been conditioned to believe that whatever he is doing has “right on his side” (in the interest of the nation), make another human suffer in this way? No job is that important.
What would your wife, girlfriend or mother think about your job? Would they be “so proud” that their partner/son tortures people? Would you be happy to tell everybody in your local community what you do?
Would you tell your children, “it was all in a good cause.” Remember the old saying: “The ends never justifies the means.” Otherwise where will it end?
Will the supermarket bosses start torturing their rivals to find out where their cheap source of bananas came from? Will a husband have his wife tortured to find out if she slept with another man while he was away?
You may think I am being ridiculous here, but if you think about it, if you really want to know something, how far are you prepared to go to get that information? If you believed the information was really vital to you, would you do anything to get it? Well, that’s what governments do.
They believe that the information they require is vital to national security, to the nation – their nation, not yours. After all, they don’t consult you if they wish to declare war, torture people or execute them; it’s not your business, it’s state business, remember that.
In order to preserve peace, it was necessary to torture these 3,000 people to get the information about the weapons and stop them from launching an attack. It was unavoidable.
Surely not the words of a human being, the most intelligent species on the planet? One whose intellect and use of speech is superior to anything else on this planet (and maybe the galaxy). We really cannot say that we are an advanced society when we resort to violence to keep the peace. I will not say that torture is wrong, that is for you to decide, but I do ask you to remember your son, your mother, your father, your wife, and I ask you to remember their faces when you told them you loved them.
Now try to imagine the feelings of the people being tortured. The pain, the unbearable pain, the screaming, the violence, and try to remember that they also told their parents, their son, their wife, or their daughter they loved them. They know love too. They are human beings.