Re torture and memory, see also this, on the findings of one neuroscientist on what that kind of stress does to the brain.
As a layman in this field, I have to say I find this not at all surprising, given what we think we know of the general fragility of memory.
Note also that we know painfully well from the historical record just what bizarre fictions can be concocted into convictions when you mix the heavy hand of torture into the judicial process. Remember: torture was central to both the witch scares and the Inquisition, and that under such duress, people confessed at length and in great detail to the fantastic and impossible, often also indicting others, in a spreading, spiraling cascade of fantasies. Remember also that terror regimes the world over use it delightedly to terrify and suppress dissidents within their populations.
Keep that last bunch in mind, especially. Because they point to the truth of this thing.
That hard truth being: torture is, as many, many competent professionals are telling you, close to useless for getting timely and precise intel. Rather: its only particularly reliable value as a tool of statecraft is as a method of terror and suppression. And those who use it frequently know this perfectly well. Their intention isn’t to get their victims to confess a truth and save the city from some mythical suitcase bomb: their intention is to get their victims to confess anything they can use to justify further and spreading punishment and suppression. And they can do this only in an environment in which there are people naive enough to believe the absurd perjuries concocted under such conditions.
Don’t be one of those people.
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