CAT, DOJ, enhanced interrogation, Eric Holder, Laurence Bergreen, Magellen, Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo De Medici, Medici, Miles Unger, Over the Edge of the World, torture
I don’t consider the methods outlined in my previous post as torture, and I consider it immoral not to use any and all methods if they are designed to save the lives of innocents.
The intent of enhanced interrogation is to obtain valuable intelligence, not to hurt, maim or kill as verified by Eric Holder’s Department of Justice in the following:
[T]orture is defined as “an extreme form of cruel and inhuman treatment and does not include lesser forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. . . . ” 8 C.F.R. § 1208.18(a)(2). Moreover, as has been explained by the Third Circuit, CAT requires “a showing of specific intent before the Court can make a finding that a petitioner will be tortured… difference goes to the heart of the distinction between general and specific intent.”
Here’s torture: (Use your own discretion since descriptions are very graphic.)
From Magnifico: The Brilliant Life and Violent Times of Lorenzo De Medici by Miles Unger
An incident recorded by the diarist Luca Landucci vividly illustrated the dangers awaiting those who threatened bodily harm to the leading citizens of the regime:
27th September . A certain hermit came to the house of Lorenzo de Medici at the Poggio a Caiano; and the servants declared that he intended to murder Lorenzo, so they took him and sent him to the Bargello, and he was put to the rack.
15th October. This hermit died at Santa Maria Novella, having been tortured in various ways. It was said that they skinned the soles of his feet, and then burnt them by holding them in the fire till the fat dripped off them; after which they set him upright and made him walk across the hall; and these things caused his death. Opinions were divided as to whether he was guilty or innocent.
From Over the Edge of the World by Laurence Bergreen
In 1519, Magellan took five ships as set sail from Spain to find a water route to the Spice Islands (Indonesia). Among the depredations he faced was mutiny. He dealt with it as follows.
First, Magellan instructed one of his men to read an indictment of Mendoza as a traitor. The Captain General then ordered his men to draw and quarter Mendoza’s body. This complicated and grotesque procedure usually began with hanging the victim, then cutting his down while he was only partly strangled. The executioner or an assistant would make an incision in the victim’s abdomen, remove the intestines, and, incredibly, burn them in front of the half-dead victim. When he finally expired, his head and limbs were severed from his body, parboiled with herbs to preserve them and repel birds, and finally displayed to the public.
In a variation, the victim’s arms and legs were attached to four horses, who were made to walk in opposite directions, slowly tearing the victim’s limbs from his body. Magellan combined elements of both methods. Mendoza was secured to the flagship’s deck, with ropes running from his wrists and ankles to the capstans, which consisted of a cable wound about a cylinder to hoist or move heavy objects. On cue, sailors pressed on levers to rotate the capstans’ drum, which contained sockets to check its backward movement. Bit by bit, the pressure applied to the capstans ripped Mendoza’s lifeless body to pieces.
Magellan directed that the quartered remains be spitted and displayed as a warning of exactly how traitors would be treated…This practice, so barbarous by present standards, was in keeping with the customs of the time for those who would defy authority.
Magellan’s display of barbarism did not end there; he was only beginning to exact revenge for the mutineers’ insult to his authority and to the honor of King Charles. More than execution, torture was his ultimate weapon at sea. He appointed his cousin, Alvero de Mesquita as judge. He ordered Andres de San Martin to the ghastly strappado. The strappado was administered in five stages of increasing agony. In the first degree, the victim was stripped, his wrists were bound behind his back, and he was threatened until he confessed. If he refused, he was subjected to the second degree. In it, the victim’s arms were raised behind his back by a rope attached to a pulley secured overhead, and he was lifted off his feet for a brief period of time, and given another chance to confess. If he still refused, he faced the third degree of strappado, in which he was suspended for a longer period of time, which dislocated his shoulders and broke his arms. Once again, he was given another chance to confess. If no satisfactory confession, the fourth degree: The victim was suspended and violently jerked, which inflicted excruciating pain. Few victims of methodically administered strappado lasted beyond this point without confessing. In certain cases there was a fifth degree. In this final phase of strappado, weights were attached to the victim’s feet, and they were often heavy enough to tear the limbs from his tormented body.
San Martin suffered the full five stages. “The prisoner hath his hands bound behind his back, and weights tied to his feet, and then he is drawn up on high, till his head reached the vee pulley. He is kept hanging in this manner for some time, that by the greatness of the weight hanging at his feet, all his joints and limbs may be dreadfully stretched, and of a sudden he is let down with a jerk, by slacking the rope, but kept from coming quite to the ground.