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Monday, November 26, 2007

A New Torture Device 

Lots of people don't know anything about technology. That's to say, they like to spout off about it, boring you with a lot of poorly-understood dreck about design and sepcifications and so on, but they seem to be blind to the implications of a particular technology, which is the same thing as not understanding it.

So lots of people don't seem to be able to identify the taser correctly as an implement of torture. They seem to dither over the idea that sending 50,000 volts coursing through someone's body might be a cruel thing to do. I think what confuses them is the selling point of this weapon, that it leaves few marks on the body, or causes little lasting damage. They are under the impression that the chief objection to torture is that it might be harmful to your health. They don't realise that the taser makes the rack and the wheel obsolete, not by being more humane—as if that weren't pure idiocy—but simply by being a better, more efficient instrument of torture. It can cause great pain and suffering, yet the victim remains magically intact. It's capable of perfect violence, perfect brutality, because it can be used with impunity. Until somebody dies, of course. And even that won't be a big deal if enough people agree to remain confused about it.

There's more on this topic at Dr Dawg under the heading “Faster, RCMP! Kill! Kill!” If you follow his link to A. Cameron Ward & Co., you will find a list of seventeen people who have been killed by taser in this country since 2003. And also this curious fact: “Although electric fences and cattle prods must undergo rigorous tests before being sold, the Taser is subject to no such control.” However, it has been field tested, and does what it's supposed to do: torture people to death in an acceptable manner.



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