More on U.S. Policy of Torturing Prisoners

If there is anyone left who was unconvinced that the United States practices torture by deliberate policy, but who is susceptible to evidence, I’d like to welcome that person to the ranks of the disgusted and disillusioned.

Among the highlights of the new documents uncovered by the ACLU:


I had somehow taken it for granted that we all still believe with Socrates that it is better to suffer than to do wrong. This belief turned out to be a mistake. There was a widespread conviction that it is impossible to withstand temptation of any kind, that none of us could be trusted or even expected to be trustworthy when the chips are down, that to be tempted and to be forced are almost the same, whereas in the words of Mary McCarthy, who first spotted this fallacy: “If somebody points a gun at you and says, ‘Kill your friend or I will kill you,’ he is tempting you, that is all.” And while a temptation where one’s life is at stake may be a legal excuse for a crime, it certainly is not a moral justification.

 — From Hannah Arendt, Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship

browse«»
Find Out More!

For more information on the topic or topics below (organized as “topic → subtopic → sub-subtopic”), click on any of the ♦ symbols to see other pages on this site that cover the topic. Or browse the site’s topic index at the “Outline” page.