Satsuo Matsumoto’s May 10 letter, “Torture necessary in some cases“: Any reader inclined to endorse the opinion of Matsumoto concerning the morality and practical benefits of torture need look no further than the excellent article by Tzvetan Todorov, “Petty torture rules played on sense of duty,” in the same issue of The Japan Times (May 10).
Todorov eloquently examines torture’s degrading and dehumanizing influence on all those who practice it. The CIA has routinely — though secretly — used torture from Korea to Vietnam, throughout Latin America and the Middle East. Net result: crushing defeats and defiant anti-Americanism all over the globe. I find it incomprehensible that any rational human being could read the ghastly details of the CIA torture program, or view the nightmarish scenes from Abu Ghraib prison with complacency, yet feel “sick” and “disgusted” by those who would condemn such barbarism.
For whatever reason, the Bush/Cheney cabal placed America on a level with witch burners and the Gestapo. There can be no such thing as “good” torture.
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