The definition of torture in this country is very ambiguous. I don’t give much credence to a poll that doesn’t define what it means by torture. Our press has been known to identify things like forced listening to music the hearer doesn’t like as bonafide torture. While I realize that can be very unpleasant, I honestly wouldn’t define it as torture. Maybe if it were played at top volume, all hours, depriving sleep, it might hedge over the boundary, but if I had to choose between that and having toothpicks pounded into my nail beds, I guess I’d try to learn to appreciate the music.
I haven’t been following the controversy and don’t know a lot about it. If I had been following it, I’m guessing I still wouldn’t know much about it. I disapprove of torture classically defined, though it’s hard to pin down a boundary between what is permissible to save relatively innocent lives and what is not, I do think there’s a boundary we must not cross. It’s important to remember though, that in a situation in which a would-be killer is discomfited in order to save the lives of helpless people, I think it’s important to save those lives.
I don’t know how much background was available to you, Alex, but in case you weren’t aware . . . While the question of torture stands alone on its own merits, the release of this information at this time by people who knew and approved the use of whatever the interrogation methods were, is to say the least, HIGHLY politically motivated.