Cliff May: We Have To Torture Muslims

I guess the jaw can drop some more. Here's Cliff May arguing two things at once. The first thing he argues is that you can do something called "torture lite" which isn't torture but has its effect. And what is its effect? Over to Cliff:

We now know that Islamists believe their religion forbids them to cooperate with infidels until they have reached the limit of their ability to endure the hardships the infidel is inflicting on them.* In other words: Imagine an al-Qaeda member who would like to give his interrogators information, who does not want continue fighting, who would prefer not to see more innocent people slaughtered. He would need his interrogators to press him hard so he can feel that he has met his religious obligations only then could he cooperate. 

So the test here is whether a prisoner reaches the limit of their ability to endure the pain and suffering imposed upon them. I see no way to understand this except to grasp that the pain and suffering is so severe that it can no longer be endured. This, if Cliff would like to educate himself on the subject, is the definition of torture.

If you rough someone up or make them uncomfortable or remove them from the familiar or engage in grueling interrogation without coercion, you can make it easier for a captive to come clean. That is how intelligent interrogation operates. It takes time, but its results are immeasurably more reliable than torture, and it allows the prisoner some small zone of choice and freedom to tell us what he knows. But forcing people by physical coercion to the point where they have no effective choice and can endure it no longer is torture. Think about it: what could be more severe than reaching the limit of what you can physically and/or psychologically endure?

So Cliff is for torture. He has crossed the Rubicon in a way that will lead to more torture by regimes far more toxic than the United States. And he actually implies in some bizarre way that the victim - if he is a radical Islamist - wants it. It gives him the excuse to tell all. So this is torture designed specifically with Muslims in mind - just as so many of these techniques - forced nudity, religious abuse, sexual abuse - were crafted to exploit aspects of Muslim faith and culture. Does Cliff begin to understand what it means for us to fight a war for the hearts and minds of the next generation of Muslims when we have designed torture techniques specifically to target their faith?

It's evil. All of it. And fatal to the West. It must be investigated from top to bottom at length with great care; and then the rule of law must be restored.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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