Wednesday, May 27, 2009

What is torture?

Not even those who have been tortured agree. But isn't it interesting that after Vietnam, the U.S. government didn't even investigate this question, although they had hundreds of POWs they could have interviewed. But Obama claims he knows?And uses his own special brand of empathy and understanding to smear our entire country to our enemies and friends.
    "If someone surveyed the surviving Vietnam POWs, we would likely not agree on one definition of torture. In fact, we wouldn't agree if waterboarding is torture. For example, John McCain, Bud Day and I were recently together. Bud is one of the toughest and most tortured Vietnam POWs. John thinks waterboarding is torture; Bud and I believe it is harsh treatment, but not torture. Other POWs would have varying opinions. I don't claim to be right; we just disagree. But as someone who has been severely tortured over an extended time, my first hand view on torture is this:

    Torture, when used by an expert, can produce useful, truthful information. I base that on my experience. I believe that during torture, there is a narrow "window of truth" as pain (often multiple kinds) is increased. Beyond that point, if torture increases, the person breaks, or dies if he continues to resist.

    Everyone has a different physical and mental threshold of pain that he can tolerate. If the interrogator is well trained he can identify when that point is reached - the point when if slightly more pain is inflicted, a person no longer can "hold out," just giving (following the Geneva Convention) name, rank, serial number and date of birth. At that precise point, a very narrow torture "window of truth" exists. At that moment a person may give useful or truthful information to stop the pain. As slightly more pain is applied, the person "loses it" and will say anything he thinks will stop the torture - any lie, any story, and any random words or sounds.

    This torture "window of truth" is theory to some. Having been there, it is fact to me." Col. Leo Thorsness, POW for 6 years

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