There are some who say torture does not work. There are others who go further and say torture never works.
Both of these beliefs are wrong.
If one believes that torture is about getting information or finding out things that are hidden, they could be correct, but torture is not primarily about finding out the truth, it is an instrument of control, and in this it works perfectly.
When one reads about the tortures carried out by the Bolsheviks or Mao’s men or the Khemer Rouge or even the Americans, the one thing that stands out is how little the torturers care about the truth!
In the Soviet Union, someone could be picked up for the smallest trifle, a political joke, expressing religious belief or just annoying workmates or the boss, they would be taken to some facility and kept in a cell by themselves sometimes for months, they would be underfed and underclothed, kept in either extreme cold or extreme heat. They would be interrogated, beaten and told that there families had denounced them, Christians would have their children taken and send to orphanages, where they would be taught to hate God and their parent, being told that they had been abandoned, very few survived as believers. The parents would be told they could have their children back if they renounced Christ. Some did, many didn’t and never saw their children again. The people being tortured would be kept alive and many were released after signing a confession or denouncing their friends and family so that they would then be picked up and have to endure the same trials. None of this seems rational If the authorities were looking for information, it makes compete sense if one sees this as an instrument of terror, and as the French revolutionaries stated, terror in their eyes is necessary to establish power over others and to ensure the destruction of the old order.
Torture degrades those being tortured, but it degrades the torturers even more. It binds these people to those who order the torture, it creates a class of people that must not allow anyone to oppose authority, for if the Stalin or Mao or Pol Pot falls, the torturers will also fall.
Torture is wrong, it is a sin against God’s creation, it is an abandonment of decency, but it does work and very effectively so! That is why it must be opposed, and those like Dick Cheney or Bush or Rumsfeld or Ann Coulter who sing the praises of torture must also be opposed. I’m not some bleeding heart liberal, although they are wrong about torture not working, they are right to oppose it and for those on the right who support it, be careful! How long do you think it will be before people among our ranks will end up being tortured?
It may not be all that far away!