Edit: see Frontline (http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/secrets-politics-and...) or The Black Banners by Ali Soufan
Edit 2: warning on the Frontline doc, it is almost vomit inducing to see the powers that be continue systemic torture when every shred of evidence (sometimes blocked or destroyed to continue the program) says it is useless, in fact harmful.
It would be nice to know why they're so intransigent about it. Do they believe the evidence is wrong? Or perhaps they only use intelligence gathering as a pretext, and they really use it for punishment. Despicable, either way, but I'm curious to know.
I think people have very strong convictions (maybe even inborn in us) about how the society should be organized, that contradict empirical evidence.
One example is emphasis on punishment, rather than on consensus or other form of persuasion. There is just another article on HN about how psychotherapy may be a better tool for young criminals than putting them into jail. Torture falls into a similar category, IMHO.
From evolutionary standpoint, this is perhaps understandable. Punishment is good enough strategy and evolution probably didn't have time/resources to come up with something better, such as more complicated systems of therapy and intelligence gathering and whatnot. Huge societies of today can however afford such advances and don't have to rely on these crude methods.
Because they're thugs.
Do "bad guys" come with special markings so that you can distinguish them from "good guys"?
> millions of lives
Please give on example where torture has saved millions of lives.
> It is one thing to torture bad guys to save millions of lives. It is quite another to accept that you have crushed the testicels of five year old boys for no reason.
I asked when torture has ever saved "millions of lives"? It hasn't. Ever. Period.
I also questioned your simplistic view of the world with "good guys" and "bad guys". I ask do the "good guys" not become "bad guys" the moment they torture the "bad guys"? Or do they have some inherent "good" that prevents them becoming "bad guys".
Some people really are sadists and derive pleasure from the suffering of others. Others are fools or are too apathetic or cowardly to do anything about it. This may very well be the reality of our government. Signs seem to point in that direction.