Glen Newey: Torture, 29 January 2009
Show More Death by a Thousand Cuts by Timothy Brook, Jérôme Bourgon and Gregory Blue.
Harvard, 320 pp., £22.95, March 2008, 978 0 674 02773 2Show More
Standard Operating Procedure: A War Story by Philip Gourevitch and Errol Morris.
Picador, 286 pp., £8.99, January 2009, 978 0 330 45201 4Show More
Torture Team: Deception, Cruelty and the Compromise of Law by Philippe Sands.
Allen Lane, 315 pp., £20, May 2008, 978 1 84614 008 2Show More
“... Like making jokes or copulating without regard to season, torturing is one of those activities that distinguish human beings from other animals. Inflicted both on our congeners and on other species, it marks us out, in the words of the King of Brobdingnag, as a pernicious race of little odious vermin. Even Richard Rorty, the self-styled postmodernist liberal, felt able to pronounce that cruelty was ‘the worst thing we do ...”