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Tuesday, November 08, 2005

We Don't Torture

U.S. President G. W. Bush stated yesterday during his Latin American tour:

"We do not torture."

I wonder: was he using the "royal we" (also called the "pluralis majestis")?

Famed Admiral Hyman G. Rickover ("Father of the Nuclear Navy") once told a subordinate who used the pluralis majestis: "Three groups are permitted that usage: pregnant women, royalty, and schizophrenics. Which one are you?"

But I do think it's important to make it seem like you're serious about addressing the issue. So what really is "torture"? Well, according to the "United Nations", torture is:

1. Any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.

So there you go.

Or was the President saying that "WE THE PEOPLE OF THE UNITED STATES" do not torture? But that can't be right. I LOVE to torture.

Just pulling your leg, of course. I don't really love to torture. After all, loving not to torture is what makes this country (naturally, by "this country" I mean the USA) the best of all the countries. We do not torture - and therefore it is clear to all that we are very great indeed.

But even though I do not do torture, thinking about torture and talking about it does get me excited. I flush. My heart beats faster. Questions come to mind. Here are a few of my questions regarding torture (which, remember, is a very bad thing to do to people and even sometimes to animals too) :

- If you shoot a suffering person in the head, does that count as torture?

- Does tickling someone to death count as torture?

- If the person doesn't think you're torturing them, is that torture?

- If I throw broken glass at a person to get them to do what I want, is it me who is torturing them - or is it the broken glass that does the actual torturing?

- If torturing people could bring about universal peace on earth, would it be morally okay then?

- Is force-feeding my victim a hundred donuts torture if I really love donuts myself?

- If I pay a someone to spank me is that torture? What if she does it for free?

- If I tell millions of people that they are in danger of annihilation and I know it's a lie, does that count as torture?

- "If God didn't intend for us to torture, he wouldn't have made bad people." Is that statement ALWAYS true?

- Is it true that when Jesus was tried for torturing the Roman centurion, that he was acquitted for completely technical reasons and not because he was innocent of the crime?

I could go on forever: "Is there a Torturer's Union?", et cetera. But those 10 questions are more than enough for the torture experts to chew on.

Hey, you torture experts, enlighten us.

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