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In Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun, our hero belongs to the guild of
torturers, except IIRC they call themselves the Seekers of Truth and
Penitence. It's an excellent series, but probably not so marketable,
as such not the commercial or literary success it deserves to be.
Our hero serves as executioner of criminals, but I don't recall him
torturing anyone. Some of you may think it is alright to do whatever
it takes to protect national security, including water boarding suspected
What about human rights, due process, and "Innocent until found guilty".
"I serve humanity"
Baen Free Radio have been very complementary about a series of books by
Susan R Matthews, the Fleet Inquisitor series, which features judicial
torture. I think I read a short story they placed on their website, but
I don't find the series attractive. I don't believe either series glorifies
torture, but it is an unfortunate fact that it was historically very
widespread and is still in use today, so it's one possible feature of an
imagined world. David Drake was an interrogator in Vietnam and believes
that torture is not efficient in practice
- see https://david-drake.com/2015/newsletter-84/.
Nils Melzer, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, believes that most
torture's undertaken to hide information rather than reveal it.
What does it mean when UN member states refuse to provide information
to their own Special Rapporteur on Torture?
That it is a prearranged affair. A show trial is to be used to make an
example of Julian Assange. The point is to intimidate other
journalists. Intimidation, by the way, is one of the primary purposes
for the use of torture around the world. The message to all of us is:
This is what will happen to you if you emulate the Wikileaks model. It
is a model that is so dangerous because it is so simple: People who
obtain sensitive information from their governments or companies
transfer that information to Wikileaks, but the whistleblower remains
anonymous. The reaction shows how great the threat is perceived to be:
Four democratic countries joined forces - the U.S., Ecuador, Sweden and
the UK - to leverage their power to portray one man as a monster so
that he could later be burned at the stake without any outcry. The case
is a huge scandal and represents the failure of Western rule of law. If
Julian Assange is convicted, it will be a death sentence for freedom of
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