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Derek McMillan

Acceptance of torture in a democracy

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Much of this information comes from Democracy Now! which is a TV and radio news program in the United States. Curiously I have been accused of anti-Americanism for quoting it!

1) The British courts accept confessions under torture so long as it is outside contractors who do the actual torturing.

2) The FBI has tried to disassociate its agents from the torture methods of the CIA so that their agents are not compromised.

3) There are two aircraft used to take suspects to places like Uzbekistan where torture is Ok so the torture of suspects can be further outsourced.

What matters is the public response. I raised this issue on the TES website and got a resounding yawn. There is an acceptance that the government will outsource torture. This is no longer seen as something evil done by "the outsider" but as a legitimate response to the real or imagined terrorist threat.

How long would you have to torture Blunkett - or David Aaronovitch - before they confessed to terrorism? After all the justification for the witch hunts was the number of witches they found...

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