From our bulging “Opposition to abortion taketh away the sins of the world” file.

Serendipitously, a reader sends along this:

Here’s more data to use: a 1939 memo from Stalin defending torture. His logic seems to exactly parallel what the American torture apologists have been saying.

This document is from a reliable site, one which has a comprehensive on-line archive of Marxist-Leninist work on the Net.

On Applying Physical Pressure to Prisoners

To the Secretaries of oblast and regional party committees,
To the CCs of national Communist parties,
To the people’s commissars of internal affairs,
and to the heads of NKVD directorates

It has become known to the VKP CC that the secretaries of oblast and regional party committees, in checking up on employees of NKVD directorates, have laid blame on them for the use of physical pressure against those who have been arrested, treating it as something criminal. The VKP CC affirms that the use of physical pressure in the work of the NKVD has been permitted since 1937 in accordance with a resolution of the VKP CC. This directive indicated that physical pressure was to be used in exceptional cases and only against blatant enemies of the people who, when interrogated by humane methods, defiantly refuse to turn over the names of co-conspirators , and who refuse for months on end to provide any evidence, and who try to thwart the unmasking of co-conspirators who are still at large, and who thereby continue even from prison to wage a struggle against the Soviet regime. Experience has shown that such an arrangement has produced good results and has greatly expedited the unmasking of enemies of the people.

True, subsequently in practice the method of physical pressure was abused by Zakovsky, Litvin, Uspensky, and other scoundrels, converting it from an exception into a rule and beginning to apply it against honest people who had been arrested accidentally. For these abuses, they [the scoundrels] have been given due punishment. But this in no way detracts from the value of the method itself when it is properly used. It is known that all bourgeois secret services use physical pressure against representatives of the socialist proletariat and rely on especially savage methods of it. We might therefore ask why a socialist secret service should be any more more humane in relation to inveterate agent of the bourgeoisie and sworn enemies of the working class and collectivized farmers. The VKP CC believes that the use of physical pressure must absolutely be continued from here on in exceptional cases and against blatant and invidious enemies of the people, and that this is a perfectly appropriate and desirable method. The VKP CC demands that the secretaries of oblast and regional party committees and the CCs of national party committees bear in mind this explanation when they check up on the employees of NKVD directorates.

Secretary of the VKP CC
J. Stalin

It’s all there.  Every excuse for torture.  Every euphemism deployed by the Thing that Used to be Conservatism to justify the Bush/Cheney torture regime. It’s right because it works. Our enemies are far worse. We’re AT WAR, DAMMIT, so that makes it right. It was only a few bad apples. When the State orders it, it’s not wrong. I particularly love how Stalin, just like so many “conservative” apologists for torture uses euphemisms like “physical pressure” so as to pretend he ‘s not arguing for torture. Oh. No. It’s just “physical pressure”. It’s just “Enhanced interrogation” (as the Gestapo, which also did not torture referred to it).

That’s the bed that “conservative” torture apologists have chosen to lie in. And I do mean lie. Catholics should shun this filth as strongly as they should have shunned Notre Dame’s Obama suckupery.

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  • Ted Seeber

    I don’t buy “He did it so I should do it back to him” from my 9 year old, and I certainly don’t buy it from Stalin or the Republicans.

  • WesleyD

    As you have pointed out in the past, there are some Republicans who supported torture when Bush did it but who oppose it when Obama does it. Similarly, there are some Democrats who screamed about Bush’s torture, but who trust Obama with that power.

    It’s worth remembering that there were Leftists in the 1930s and 1940s who opposed tyranny in general, but who felt that Stalin, a true man of the people, could be trusted with such power.

  • Linebyline

    Thought Number 1: Torture isn’t torture when the state orders it. I seem to recall a few years back you posted a definition of what torture meant, that specifically said that it only extended to illegal means. What a useful definition that is! (It wasn’t your definition; it was some government or UN document or something. I have the quote saved somewhere, but I forgot to write down where it came from.)

    Thought Number 2: I wear an image of a Torture Victim around my neck every day, to remind me (among many other things) that torture is evil. Remember “whatever you do to the least of these…”?

    Thought Number 3 re: WesleyD’s comment: “Misa propose dat da Senate give, immediately, emergency powahs to da Supreme Chancellah.” Great. We live in a world of Jar Jars.