Thursday, August 6, 2009

Torture and the Brave New World

I remember reading Frank Herbert's "Dune" series, and being somewhat morbidly impressed by the "pain box" which could cause unbearable pain without leaving any mark. Now, this has become a reality. The Silent Guardian has been produced to impose unbelievable pain by slightly microwaving pain nerves at exactly their most sensitive frequency. Can this really be considered by police forces?
The maker insists that there is no permanent damage, and that no one will stand more than a second of the agony. The plans for this, the very thought of it should be banished from the human mind. In today's world, the only apparent rule for torture is "don't leave a mark". This inflicts unbearable pain, and yet the person will never be able to "show" it later. Even worse, it is not limited to one particular spot on the body, but can encapsulate the entire body in agony, like being dipped in a pot of boiling oil, but without death to bring relief.

Of all the demonic inventions, I have yet to see anything that can equal this in its potential for injustice, cruelty, and hate.

At the moment, the beam is not held for long, and it seems that a little movement from the beam's path relieves the burning feeling. But it is just to use such a thing? What if (when?) it is abused? It could, indeed, save lives. But at what cost?