Torture was central to both the witch scares and the Inquisition

… 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. […] 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.

UK Guantanamo detainee settlements

This settlement allows the government to kick the formal inquiry about government complicity in maltreatment of Guantanamo Bay detainees to a judicial review, of which the most obvious benefit is that secret papers from the intelligence services will not be subpoenaed to be presented in an open court.

Waterboarding Hitchens

Christopher Hitchens actually had himself waterboarded by the US Military to see whether it felt like torture to him. It did. via Pharyngula, who has links to video.

Torture couture from Galliano

Speechless. Via the SMH, the new men’s collection from John Galliano, inspired by Abu Ghraib, and complete with bleeding neck and chest wounds, black hoods, and nooses. Photos below the cut.