Good Intentions

· long story short

“The March 6 document about torture provides tightly constructed definitions of torture. For example, if an interrogator ‘knows that severe pain will result from his actions, if causing such harm is not his objective, he lacks the requisite specific intent even though the defendant did not act in good faith,’ the report said.
‘Instead, a defendant is guilty of torture only if he acts with the express purpose of inflicting severe pain or suffering on a person within his control.'”
NYT
This could sound like gibberish: I know I am inflicting severe pain, but that is not my purpose. Perhaps I just wanted to test the electrodes?
But, no. it is not gibberish. They seriously want to establish that as long as my purpose is to get information, it is not torture. They same would hold if I was just trying to amuse some friends. (You know that you have a problem when you start torturing people by yourself.)
And bear in mind: express purpose. No guesswork here, please! These interrogators have rights!