Torture Lite?

Recently, Ethan has tackled the topic of torture and Zero Dark Thirty, and Kyle has written about the morality of torture. Writing in The Globe and Mail, Margaret Wente takes a bit of a different view of torture:

So when I went to see the film, I was expecting the worst kind of gut-wrenching brutality. But what I saw, please forgive me, wasn’t all that bad. It doesn’t touch the extreme violence of your average Quentin Tarantino movie or much of the pornographic violence that spews from Hollywood. The lengthy interrogation scenes show slaps, punches, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, waterboarding, sexual humiliation (nakedness) and being locked up inside a small box. All of this is pretty close to the facts, according to those who know. It’s what was known as “enhanced interrogation,” although a better name would be “torture lite.”

Ms. Wente asks if honest people can disagree about torture. Yes, there’s no doubt people can honestly attempt to justify evil.

Jonathan McLeod

Jonathan McLeod is a writer living in Ottawa, Ontario. (That means Canada.) He spends too much time following local politics and writing about zoning issues. Follow him on Twitter.


  1. Accurate descriptions of torture and violence don’t match the wildest creative visions of movie makers. Also porn sex often looks remarkable different from real person sex. Reality and movies are different. Wrong is still wrong.

    • I dunno, embedded spider eggs in your skin, that grow and hatch under there is pretty fucking creepy — and then the “looks kinda like a zit” explodes, and all sorts of tiny spiders spill out.

  2. Every now and then, when I’m showering, I manage to get myself in such a position under the flow of the water that I feel like I can’t breath. It is TERRIFYING. But it only last a few seconds until I re-situate myself and I am in full control of the situation. But, while it is happening, holy crap.

    I’m not comparing this to water-boarding, only because I’m sure water-boarding is 10000000x times worse. It’s torture. Plain and simple.

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