On my way home from work today I listened to Triple J’s ‘Hack’ , and heard an interview with an American about survival schools and torture. The aim of the survival schools is to equip specialized troops to cope with torture by torturing them, thus reducing fear of the unknown. His comments on torture laws in America shocked me. Torture is defined as the intent to cause someone grievous harm, and if mental, must cause prolonged harm. The issue is the word “intent”. If the intent is to obtain information, it is not considered torture in an illegal sense. I find that disturbing. How far can one degrade and deeply abuse another before the legal system comes to the defense of the victim? The attitudes underlying decrees such as this shed ominous light on the recent declaration by David Hicks that he was not tortured while in Guantanamo Bay. Is his comment a true reflection of his treatment, or merely in line with the US definition? It is hard to believe that a Christian nation can justify torture of God’s own reflected image in the name of information gathering.