intentional infliction of physical or mental suffering upon a person or an animal in order to punish, to coerce or for sheer cruelty
Torture is any act by which severe pain, whether physical or psychological, is intentionally inflicted on a person as a means of intimidation, a deterrent, revenge, a punishment, or as a method for the extraction of information or confessions.
- I was kept awake for many days straight. I was forced to remain in painful positions for hours at a time. These are things I do not want to write about; I want only to forget.
- Perhaps we cannot prevent this world from being a world in which children are tortured. But we can reduce the number of tortured children. And if you don’t help us, who else in the world can help us do this?
- Albert Camus, at the Dominican Monastery of Latour-Maubourg (1948); reported in Resistance, Rebellion and Death (translation by Justin O'Brien, 1961), p. 73.
- “Love the others and you will be loved!” is a saying that might sound as a terrible and unjust accusation against all the innocents that have been hated and perhaps even tortured and killed.
- Fausto Cercignani in: Brian Morris, Simply Transcribed. Quotations from Writings by Fausto Cercignani, 2014, quote 58.
- I want to make sure that if my government ever does this horrible, terrible, extraordinary thing, that somebody takes responsibility for it and that it be out there in the open and subject to accountability. … Though I understand the danger of legitimating something that should not be legitimated, on balance in a democracy, I prefer accountability.
- Night and day among the tombs and in the hills he would cry out and cut himself with stones. When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and fell on his knees in front of him. He shouted at the top of his voice, "What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? In God's name don't torture me!" For Jesus had said to him, "Come out of this man, you impure spirit!" 9Then Jesus asked him, "What is your name?" "My name is Legion," he replied, "for we are many."
- Mark 5:5-9
- There are one or two rules of thumb which are useful in distinguishing sadism from exciting adventure in the comics. Threat of torture is harmless, but when the torture it’s self is shown it becomes sadism. When a lovely heroine is show bound to the stake, comics followers are sure that the rescue will arrive just in the nick of time. The readers wish is to see save the girl, not to see her suffer. A bound or chained person does not suffer even embarrassment in the comics, and the reader, therefore is not being taught to enjoy suffering.
- William Moulton Marston as quoted in Olive Richard Bryne's, "Don't laugh at the comics" Family Circle, Oct 25, 1940.
- We will not torture... We will not torture people... It doesn't work, my friends. It doesn't work. If you inflict enough pain on somebody long enough, they're going to tell you whatever they think you want to hear to have it stopped... There are accomplished interrogators who can gain the confidence of the suspect and gain all the information that they could possibly want.
- John McCain, regarding U.S. president-elect Donald J. Trump's intention to reintroduce the usage of torture by U.S. authorities, as quoted in "John McCain attacks Donald Trump's torture stance" (21 November 2016), Channel 4 News
- Stripped of its bizarre excesses, Cameron's experiments, building upon Donald O. Hebb's earlier breakthrough, laid the scientific foundation for the CIA's two-stage psychological torture method.
- Alfred W. McCoy, as quoted by Klein, N., "The Shock Doctrine", p. 41, Metropolitan Books, New York, 2007
- Everything will be dead inside you. Never again will you be capable of love, or friendship, or joy of living, or laughter, or curiosity, or courage, or integrity. You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty and then we shall fill you with ourselves.
- You asked me once, what was in Room 101. I told you that you knew the answer already. Everyone knows it. The thing that is in Room 101 is the worst thing in the world.
- I mentioned to one of the gaolers my sense of this hardship, as an obstinate guilty person might deny the truth, whilst an innocent one, less courageous, might very readily, to relieve himself from such a state of misery, make a false confession. His answer was laconic: "Lago confess" … "They soon confess."
- Torture is senseless violence, born in fear... torture costs human lives but does not save them. We would almost be too lucky if these crimes were the work of savages: the truth is that torture makes torturers.
- Jean-Paul Sartre, "A Victory" (1958)
- Jack Bauer saved Los Angeles. He saved hundreds of thousands of lives, are you going to convict Jack Bauer? Say that criminal law is against him? 'You have the right to a jury trial?' Is any jury going to convict Jack Bauer? I don't think so."
- The one thing we know about torture is that it was never designed in the first place to get at the actual truth of anything; it was designed in the darkest days of human history to produce false confessions in order to annihilate political and religious dissidents. And that is how it always works: it gets confessions regardless of their accuracy.