Just a Pinch Between Your Teeth and Gum

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Thanks to the commenter that reminded me about the NYT piece on the torture report released this month. It’s sobering but not surprising reading for those that have been following the debate, most succinctly summed up by University of South Florida professor Randy Borum, “There’s an assumption that often passes for common sense that the more pain imposed on someone, the more likely they are to comply” — but that’s just not true.

Torture: Immoral AND ineffective!

There’s some dark humor in the piece as well, including this cringe-inducing juxtaposition:

And Mr. Borum, the psychologist, said modern marketing may be a source of relevant insights into how to influence a prisoner’s willingness to provide information. “We have a whole social science literature on persuasion,” Mr. Borum said. “It’s mostly on how to get a person to buy a certain brand of toothpaste. But it certainly could be useful in improving interrogation.”

and

Mr. Krongard even recalls receiving a proposal for help with questioning Qaeda suspects from an American dentist who said he “could create pain no human being could withstand

.”

All true, I’m sure, just don’t put that dentist in charge of selling the toothpaste.

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