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Gaining information is just cover.

The US tortures people for the same reasons that other empires has. It is used for domination, to coerce cooperation, to scare people, to satisy the urge for vengeance.

It was never about information, that is just the sales pitch.

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by A swedish kind of death on Sat Dec 13th, 2014 at 08:06:20 AM EST
[ Parent ]
It doesn't even make sense on that level.

I am very sure what is actually going on is that people in authority have simply watched too much "24" and similar drivel and are basing policy off that.

I come to this theory - That torture is simply happening because the people running the show are mind-numbingly stupid, based on the fact that the only thing torture is actually achieving is the erosion of US moral authority.
It isn't common or targeted enough to even register as a risk factor to people who grew up in places like saudi arabia or afghanistan.

But the fact that the US tortures? That proves that any claim the US makes to being a fundamentally different  country - a country of laws, principles and ideals, is a sham. So couple of centuries of building a mythology of being the city on the hill? The country that actually tries to be better? Lets just wreck that for.. No gain at all.

So, the only theories that fit the facts is that the US has a serious problem of Manchurian Candidates trying really hard to wreck things from within, or you know, the people in charge are very, very stupid.

It's basically the same "Hard Choices" fallacy that is wrecking the economy of the western world, policy makers doing things that are obviously, blatantly just flat out evil and then patting themselves on the back and naming it necessity. But that name is a lie. It's just Evil.

by Thomas on Sun Dec 14th, 2014 at 04:25:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Mind-numbingly stupid would work except this is not new to the CIA.

CIA Torture Made Latin America Safe for China

In fact, as the Senate Intelligence Subcommittee's report on torture makes clear, a direct line runs between what happened in Central America and U.S. torture methods during the George W. Bush administration: An officer who had been rebuked by the CIA's inspector general for his interrogation methods in Latin America during the 1980s became the CIA's chief of interrogations in its Renditions Group in 2002.

They mainstreamed an oppression technique that sometimes work and sometimes doesn't. Fear and awe, but mostly fear.

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by A swedish kind of death on Mon Dec 15th, 2014 at 03:56:48 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Deterrence effects scale very badly from severity of consequence and very well from probability of said consequence occurring - this is well known and thoroughly proven, if not acted on in terms of policy very often.

In order to oppress via torture you have to torture a very high percentage of the people who are conspicuously annoying to your regime.
In other words, it was predictable that the US torture program wouldn't work, even if I assume the people in charge are actual mustache twirling imperialist sith lords. So, back to theory of "Stupid" and "overly fond of thriller plots".

by Thomas on Mon Dec 15th, 2014 at 10:49:13 AM EST
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