Quote For The Day

"Torture "works" in that torture victims speak. The information gained is notoriously unreliable, however, as noted since the time of Aristotle. Accounts of torture from the Inquisitions exhibit how the most delirious tales were elicited from the victims. This information served to confirm the prior beliefs of the torturers. Bad weather, for instance, was thought at the time to be caused by airborne demons in consort with human "witches." In the delirium of torture, torture victims - those accused of being witches - confirmed these beliefs while providing the names of other "witches" who would reconfirm both the preposterous prior beliefs and the inquisitors' authority. The information was, of course, not true . Yet, it was meaningful information in that it fit extant prior beliefs in a historical context framed as a medieval version of the state of necessity," - Professor Thomas C. Hilde, Testimony before the U.S. Helsinki Commission, Field Hearing, University of Maryland , College Park, December 10, 2007.