Torture: A Number and A Quote

A lot of information came out when the interrogation documents were released. I’m not going to attempt to summarize this here, but one number and one quote give a feeling for what we learned.

The number is 266–the number of times two al Qaeda suspects underwent waterboarding.

A rather Orwellian quote comes from Marc A. Thiessen, a former chief speech writer for George Bush, who was trying to justify the use of torture in an op-ed in The Washington Post:

The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.

Torture to make them free. Beyond the obvious Orwellian comparisons, Andrew Sullivan compared this line to “Neil Gaiman’s account of a torturer in hell.”

“We will hurt you. And we are not sorry. But we do not do it to punish you. We do it to redeem you. Because afterward, you’ll be a better person … and because we love you. One day you’ll thank us for it.”

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