The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect.
Motto of Dan Mitrione, an employee of the US Office of Public Safety, who taught the Uruguay regime more efficient methods of torture in the late 1960s
The first jolt was so bad I just wanted to die.
Goria Esperanza Reyes, speaking of her torture in Honduras, where electric wires were attached to her breasts and vagina
All of the victims were black or Latino, so far as we've seen, and the people who were doing the torturing were white officers.
Attorney on the case of the systematic torture used by Chicago police officers between 1973 and 1986
It's all over Iraq. The worst stuff I saw was from the detaining units who would torture people in their homes. They were using things like ... burns. They would smash people's feet with the back of an axe-head. They would break bones, ribs.
Tony Lagouranis, fomer interrogator at Abu Ghraib prison
No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification for torture.
The Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, Article 2, S2
They always asked to be killed. Torture is worse than death.
José Barrera, Honduran torturer
The situation as far as torture is concerned now in Iraq is totally out of hand ... The situation is so bad many people say it is worse than it had been in the times of Saddam Hussein.
Manfred Nowak, the United Nation's special investigator on torture
...for encouraging the success of democratic processes in Honduras.
The stated reason why the Reagan administration awarded Gen. Gustavo Alvarez Martinez the Legion of Merit in 1983. Alvarez was the director of Battalion 316, which kidnapped, tortured and killed hundreds of Honduran citizens.
When you get what you want, and I always get it, it may be good to prolong the session a little to apply another softeningup. Not to extract information now, but only as a political measure, to create a healthy fear of meddling in subversive activities.
Dan Mitrione, an employee of the US Office of Public Safety in Uruguay in the late 1960s
[US police forces have been guilty of] violating international human rights standards through a pattern of unchecked excessive force amounting to torture or other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment
Hundreds of prisoners have listened to the little speech given by Inspector Basil Lambrou, who sits behind his desk which displays the red, white, and blue clasped-hand symbol of American aid. He tries to show the prisoner the absolute futility of resistance: "You make yourself ridiculous by thinking you can do anything. The world is divided in two. There are the communists on that side and on this side the free world. The Russians and the Americans, no one else. What are we? Americans. Behind me there is the government, behind the government is NATO, behind NATO is the U.S. You can't fight us, we are Americans.
James Becket, an attorney sent to Greece by Amnesty International, 1969
Torture might last a short time, but the person will never he the same.
Amnesty International report
I belonged to a squad of twelve. We devoted ourselves to torture, and to finding people whom we were told were guerrillas. I was trained in Panama for nine months by the [unintelligible] of the United States for anti-guerrilla warfare. Part of the time we were instructed about torture.
Former member of the El Salvador National Guard, testifying in a 1986 British television documentary
American policy on the torture question as expressed in official statements and official testimony has been to deny it where possible and minimize it where denial was not possible. This policy flowed naturally from general support for the military regime.
Amnesty International on the U.S. position on the torture in Greece
- I headed for the bedroom to get dressed, but Medine ... went straight to the window and jumped.
- My daughter, you see, preferred death to being tortured once again.
Medine's younger sister and mother, about the day in July 1999 when Turkish police broke into their home to take the two sisters in for questioning. Medine was 14 years old, and Kurdish.