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How Torture Helped the Allies in WWII

May 5th, 2009 · 66 Comments

A small historical irony about the recent weird effort to enlist the bombing of Hiroshima in defense of torture (torture begins with T, Truman begins with T—don’t you see it?): Whatever role the bombings played in hastening Japan’s unconditional surrender, it was probably enhanced by the testimony of captured Air Force First Lieutenant Marcus McDilda. Though he initially professed to know nothing about the Manhattan Project or the atomic bomb that had been dropped on Hiroshima—because he didn’t—under torture he “confessed” that, contrary to Japanese hopes that the Americans could not possibly have produced more than a few, the United States had hundreds ready for deployment, with Tokyo and Kyoto next on the list of targets. In this case, of course, that was best for all concerned but it’s one more reminder that information obtained under duress is not always the most reliable.

Tags: War



66 responses so far ↓

  • 1 What’s awesome this week: Let them eat dog food « A Fistful of Science // May 15, 2009 at 6:53 pm

    […] 1. How Torture Helped the Allies in WWII […]

  • 2 trianglewhip // May 16, 2009 at 9:51 pm

    Bj said who grew up in the Bush years know that torture is not just criminal but stupid.
    I can both agree and Disagree with that statment, depending on curcumstance..
    Torture is nothing but punishment through pain complience. Why do we have TASERS?! Why are school kids paddled? Now bieng it criminal, well that is determined bv whose judging… Id rather NOT torture by all means. But if challenged, then what? Give him a cigar , and a nice plce to stay??
    Yes I agree that when the CIA tortured, those punks, for info, it backfired. In that buisness, and war, there no guarenteed solutions, at all. But through the Bush admin, The insurgency and foregn figters deminished greatly, time on. Why. Because alot of potential combatants, relized that the risk is now place more on them, than us, if they get wounded / captured.. Where were those combative Al Sdar, Iranian Sheites, during Sadamn Hussian? Not in Iraq at that time..

  • 3 trianglewhip // May 16, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    Declaring war on Iraq against the International community, is CRIMINAL as well. We did hanged Nazis for that alone.. All those that voted for it, should hang as well. Oh! We are a nation of laws here..
    What ever you think how bad torture is, doesn’t matter.
    As long as humanity and war exist. There will always be torture. Can you eliminate it? NO. Can you control, and direct it on the proper curcumstance, that won’t get innocent people hurt? Hell Yes!
    If you want to win war, you better go all the way, get dirty, and live with it.or stay home. This nation was built on people that tortured. But we knew to not let it get out of hand. And that is the only thing to seperate good guys from bads guy, if that how you want to classify people..

  • 4 Anne // May 21, 2009 at 11:11 pm

    I think torture is defined as putting people in an agonizing way, to get something out of it; either by thrill, or by information. I think dropping the bomb on the Japanese citizen’s defines the word. The U.S. wanted to make a statement of strength and ruthlessness. Torture is torture and to be an American, we believe in the 1st amendmant… we all have alienable rights in this world. We want this way brought to the world, (democracy) way the world wants, too

  • 5 trianglewhip // May 24, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Ann said I think torture is defined as putting people in an agonizing way, to get something out of it; either by thrill, or by information. I think dropping the bomb on the Japanese citizen’s defines the word.
    I agree But torture is proper as a means of deturent punishment only. To get intelligents or confessions is counter productive, and time consuming. Winston Chirchil did a nicer, and more eficient way to the Nazi spies he cought. He gave 2 choices. Work for him as a double agent for a small payment, or HANG by the neck.. I do that 1st.
    I rather torture terroist, than bomb “innocent” civillians incl women and children.
    War is legalized murder, and atrocity, to the victors.. I rather be marked as a sadist, than a child killer…

  • 6 Liz // Jun 7, 2009 at 5:27 am

    … 🙁

  • 7 Liz // Jun 7, 2009 at 5:28 am

    emoticons r cool… unlike torture!!! 🙂 🙁

  • 8 Dennis D // Jun 15, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    Without debating the morality of torture , claiming it doesn’t work is ignorance produced by blind ideology. Yes torture works. We learn this from childhood. Ever have a bully twist your arm for lunch money? How fast do you offer up your money? Do you lie to the bully and tell him you don’t have any?

  • 9 trianglewhip // Jun 16, 2009 at 3:51 pm

    I never had bullies twisted my arm for anything. But I had bullies slam me to the ground and bashed the crap out of me, for many reasons. Kinda reminds me of dropping bombs on civilians.. I know torture works allot too. Watch the UFC… Too bad most of our politions never got into fights….

  • 10 Sam // Jun 17, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    The atomic bombings were horrific, and yes, many civilians died. This will always be a terrible fact. But how many civilans were tortured, mutilated, raped and killed all across Asia when the Japanese invaded? The thousands of civilians in Nanking, China who were killed in despicable ways by the Japanese were not the only ones. In every country and island that they invaded, they submitted the inhabitants to horrible methods of humiliation, torture, and death.

    It is a shame that so many Japanese civilians had to die in the atomic bombings. But when your nation has been doing worse to the civilians of every neighboring country for the duration of the war, it’s difficult to feel any sympathy.

  • 11 trianglewhip // Jun 19, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    I totaly agree, about the Japenes atrocities. And if you justify that no matter what the enemy has done, then you should justify torture as well for the same reasons.. The atom bomb was murder torture and mutilation in 1 package.. So we left the rape part, until we set foot…
    Politions been making a big deal on our atrocities we did like Abu Gharaid and Gitmo. But see what our so called “victims ” are doing ever since..
    If we are wiling to lay unmaned landmines, and bomb civilian targets, that totaly endangers children, then I see torture NO more as evil, if not less….

  • 12 trianglewhip // Jun 20, 2009 at 12:31 am

    Civilian airstrikes do more damage to our moral standing, than any torture we committed. Franklin Roosevelt made a strong point on it prior to ww2
    Scroll down to the bottom..
    I believe that ww2 might of be shortened if we didn’t did all that carpet bombing on German civilians. Because the last days were the most vicious fight of the whole war it’s self. The people were living in ruins, and the only thing you have left is anger and violence..
    Ask Isreal about their airstrikes. And see how things are doing with them..

  • 13 ali // Nov 10, 2010 at 11:51 am

    And on the authority of Wabisa bin Mabad, may Allah be pleased with him, who said: I came to the messenger of Allah and he said: “You have come to ask about righteousness ?” . I said:” Yes.” He said: “Consult your heart. Righteousness is that about which the soul feels tranquil and the heart feels tranquil, and wrongdoing is that which wavers in the soul and moves to and from in the breast even though people again and again have given you their legal opinion [in its favor].”
    Im an english muslim. I reject the increasing evil understanding version of ‘englishness’ as torture when i grew up and throughout my teens and most of my 20s was something scum like the SS, Gestapo and KGB involved themselves in. Now i find though very same types of people equating this type of behaviour with englishness. If this is the new englishness then you can keep it. Ill stay true to the previous version and i therefore have zero intention of ‘intergrating’ with such a morally- ruined degenerate nation. The 7/7 bombs were insides jobs, as was 911, the bali bomb (i havent yet looked into the bombs in madrid and india). Also there were the bombs that blew up russia. All done by the security forces entrusted by their people to give themselves sweeping powers and start illegal wars and steal what they couldnt afford. Lord Goldsmith found a justification, and it seems that some people are very very busy giving their legal opinion in favour of something digusting. Not matter how many times you say it, it will remain that whoever falls into this type of behaviour is a disgrace.
    Incidently, it turned up in a recent study that if you do good and are kind you have a good sense of yourself and are thus calm and happy. If you are a total ***** like Bush, Blair, Putin, Sakozy and many many others living in the US, Europe and the World in general who enjoy the idea of torture and like to justify it, i would have thought the opposite is true.

  • 14 ali // Nov 10, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    Dear Trinaglewhip,
    Those who win a war by ANY MEANS NECESSARY invariably lose it. Why? Because in every single national, tribal or racial group and any/every other type of group that you can name there are people who do not define themselves by their gender, skin colour or class (ie money) but rather by their principles. If their principles were amongst many other virtuous things, not ever ever engaging in torture, rape, and deliberate attacking of civilians, then when their so-called kith & kin/friends expose themselves for the heartless, merciless, ruthless scum that they are all bonds that previously held them together are broken, and very likely irrevocibly so. Thus love grows cold, and hate grows strong, and civil war then looms on the horizon. Those who love chastity can never love the perverted, nor the charitable the miserly, or the brave the coward, and so on. I hate people you as i am deeply opposed to torture, thus it is likely we will fight. When you die i wont care. Ultimately this war is about muslims and non-muslims, but as im sure you can see (myself being a good example) there are many people who increasely hate the new definition of American and British and are ‘joining’ the other side. No one can ever win if their people fight.

  • 15 Granger Stuwert // Mar 22, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    how were people tortured in WWII??

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