Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We have ways of making you talk.

I saw this film by Kate Townsend on BBC2 last night and found it inspirational. It explains both sides of the torture process that goes on all around the world. Lots of countries use torture of both enemy combatants and their own civilians. Employees doing this state sponsored torture feel they are only doing their job and have devolved any responsibility. Governments ask their citizens to do whatever it takes to gain intelligence from prisoners. The employees abusing prisoners think that their Government has the responsibility and has given them the permission to physically or mentally abuse prisoners in their care. When there is an outcry the Government will claim that certain employees are bad apples in a system that has a few minor problems that the Government was not earlier aware of taking place. Both sides claim the other is responsible for torturing their prisoners.

I my view both the Governments and it's employees are guilty of the torture. Whether you are playing a management or a thuggery role, you are guilty of torture. You cannot turn a blind eye or a deaf ear to the abuse of prisoners. Confessions or intelligence obtained from torturing a prisoner is often inaccurate and said just to stop the immediate abuse of the victim. There is no morality when this happens in the military or custodial setting. People can easily be led into being abusive captors, either through training or boredom and game rituals. These employees should be strong enough not to endorse any abuse of their charges and not ignore any legal conventions. There will always be political and judicial solutions to situations and there is no need for parts of our society to act like a pack of wild dogs. This film showed what a fragile veneer civilisation can be and these abusers are a disgrace to our society. Everyone has the ability to do evil things and this film diminishes the viewers faith in human nature.

Well done to the BBC for having the courage to show this film, which my wife found difficult to cope with.
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