A Long Quote to End Torture Week 2009 (Probably Just the First of Many):
Here's an interesting section from a 2005 book:
"A central characteristic [of Stalinism] was torture. It was applied on a huge scale to produce a totally false picture of terrorism, sabotage, and espionage.
"Even the ostensibly nonphysical methods used in 1936 are described by victims as both mentally and physically devastating. One man arrested briefly told me that the comparatively mild-sounding stoika, when a prisoner was kept standing against a wall for days, was hardly bearable. Torture is, one might say, a worse crime against humanity than killing...
"What has now emerged most strongly is the effort, the sheer mass of documentation, that went into the structure of lies. The interrogations and confrontations often produced tomes of paperwork, employing a large staff of interrogators and secretaries, with page after page of ever more complicated falsehood. The whole regime was, indeed, based on what Pasternak called 'the inhuman power of the lie,' but the sheer mass of false detail is astounding. And in some important cases, we know that Stalin himself read the 'protocols'...
"Another oddity, which one might have thought detracted from the credibility of the accusations, was that the victims were often accused of engaging in espionage for four - or more - different countries. These large-scale attributions of terrorism and treason were, of course, reflected in the great public trials, and in the immense propaganda barrage put out not only in Russia but on a world scale.
"And accompanying the assault on imaginary enemies was the parallel uproar about imaginary triumphs."
That's from page 119 of The Dragons of Expectation: Reality and Delusion in the Course of History by Robert Conquest. Robert Conquest was given the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2005, when this book came out, by George W. Bush, who had signed off on using the stoika and other similar methods on our captives. Back in the day, Margaret Thatcher consulted with Conquest. He is a fellow at the conservative Hoover Institution. He believes that the American left ignored or excused the violent excesses of the Soviet Union. He also writes limericks.
We need to redefine this debate into who supports America and who is anti-American. And that answer is obvious.