A lovely story of interrogation and intimidation, passed along on behalf of Tim F. at Balloon Juice.

Read it. Cool, compelling stuff, and more importantly, stuff we know from our own life experience and in our hearts. “Getting people to talk” honestly requires a helluva lot more human savvy than torture. Don’t you all personally know people who would lie out of spite? Well, guess what, folks, your average Iranian soldier is pretty much exactly like your average American soldier–one of us, mind you, at the “human being” level–under conditions considered by most civilized human beings as “torture.”

Thank you, Tim. That was a gem. And a huge tip of the hat obviously goes to Andrew.

Update: Weird personal factoid: One of the things that bothers me most about torture is the inelegance of it. The complete lack of control (the interrogators) and the desperation it has to take as a human being to resort to it. Weird personal factoid two: I support torture and the death penalty under one condition, and one condition only. I get to decide, which is of course absurd unless one finds oneself in some VERY unusual circumstances. And it’s institutionally impossible, too. A fantasy, in other words. Sci-fi.

So that being said, I’m profoundly and categorically opposed to the idea of anyone else doing either in my name.

Update 2: Meaning, if it has to come to torture, I’ll take my chances with the terrorists, since being harmed by a terrorist is like winning the reverse-lottery, or getting struck by lightening, whereas torture or state-sanctioned execution in my name somehow permanently and depressingly reduces me, subtracts from my own humanity.

I know torture and killing will happen, people being people and all. I just don’t think it should be fucking policy. I don’t see how we advance as a species with either as policy, “policy” being easily defined as a default setting.