the friend online
20 April 2007

The pointlessness of torture - preview
I was sorry that Dorothy Nelson (6 April) chose neither to verify with me what I said about torture nor to raise her doubts either at the time or later
  • When I came to the subject of torture in my talk I made the point that I considered that torture was generally pointless, as well as wrong, but that while still a serving police officer (before 9/11) I had considered whether there might be a situation where it might be justified

  • I went on to explain the particular circumstances I had in mind – that intelligence had led to the arrest of one or more persons in circumstances that there was clear evidence that they had been in possession of explosive materials, but the explosives could not be found
  • They might even be prepared to admit that they had planted bombs
  • I said on the platform that I hoped I would have had the courage in such circumstances to disregard the law and use minimum force (and I suggested for example the use of drugs) to persuade those in custody to divulge where the explosives were

  • Paul Whitehouse

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    Robbie Spence, 24 April
    Nonviolent Communication advocates "the protective use of force" as a way of dealing with dilemmas like some of those mentioned above. It is a concept which I find very helpful.

    PS Nonviolent Communication (NVC) is a theory and practice described by Marshall Rosenberg. see


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    Epistle from Junior Yearly Meeting 2007
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    Junior Yearly Meeting
    News round-up
    Experiencing ageing
    Peggy Heeks
    Susie Paskins & Michael Oppenheim
    Our duties and science
    Ian Flintoff
    The pointlessness of torture
    Paul Whitehouse
    A book for everyone
    Oliver Roberton
    Quaker involvement brought to life

    Faith not labels
    Stephen Cox
    Quaker Quest as ‘inreach’
    Mary Hopkins

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