Wednesday, October 20, 2010
Torture Successfully Extracts Accurate Information - Again
A Russian businessman, Viktor Grishin, was kidnapped and tortured for information. The criminals were after the PIN numbers to his ATM cards. Unfortunately this type of incident happens occasionally, because criminals -- unlike many anti-torture activists -- understand that in some cases torture can quickly and effectively extract accurate information. The victim was murdered and the body disposed of after the torture took place. But police tracked down the criminals after they withdrew "large amounts of money" from the murdered man's various accounts. The killers apparently forced him to give up multiple PIN numbers. PIN numbers are typical of the type of specific, independently verifiable information that torture can be extremely effective at extracting. As always though, it depends on the situation. There are people who will die or risk greater torture rather than give up their money. But the next time someone tells you that torture doesn't work, tell them that Viktor Grishin, (along with countless thousands of others forced to divulge information about their valuables by torture), begs to differ -- or he would if he were still alive.