The Real Reason for Torture

I assert that torture has a very specific political function that has nothing to do with the gathering of "intelligence," but everything to do with the projection of the image of the state as a lawless and fearsome entity to its citizens and to the rest of the world, capable of the most heinous and cruel depravity, and thus sending the message that it is not to be disobeyed. This is the same psychological "logic" behind extrajudicial murder (assassinations, drone killings) and the Guantánamo Bay prison, where due process is openly violated.

I assert that torture has a very specific political function that has nothing to do with the gathering of "intelligence," but everything to do with the projection of the image of the state as a lawless and fearsome entity to its citizens and to the rest of the world, capable of the most heinous and cruel depravity, and thus sending the message that it is not to be disobeyed. This is the same psychological "logic" behind extrajudicial murder (assassinations, drone killings) and the Guantánamo Bay prison, where due process is openly violated.

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