Markets in Everything: Torturer

by on May 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm in Current Affairs, Law | Permalink

 Media Images Torturer2 525At left is an ad that ran in the Guardian newspaper. “The government of a Middle Eastern state is recruiting a senior torturer to work in a well-equipped prison. Our ideal candidate would be prepared to inflict extreme pain and suffering… Candidates will be expected to inspire a small but enthusiastic team.”

No, I don’t think the ad is real. Alas, I am sure the job is real.

Hat tip: Boing Boing.

Patrick R. Sullivan May 21, 2012 at 6:06 pm

That job has been just about universal throughout history. Our 8th Amendment prohibiting cruel and unusual punishment might be the first official announcement that no on need apply.

Unblinkered May 21, 2012 at 6:49 pm

And thus the problem of no longer properly vetting the candidates in a formal process, since clearly the Job is still available here in the U.S. oh! wait!, actually we have outsourced it. One has to wonder what sort of Liability insurance comes with the position. Global courts have been rapidly expanding their over reach, and once the current set of “african despots” are prosecuted, the Hague should be widening and deepening their case load. With the decline of U.S./E.U. influence over the global order, in the coming decades, I foresee a concerted push to expand and entrench U.S./E.U. legal (moral) values over global institutions.

So Much For Subtlety May 21, 2012 at 9:56 pm

Except the Eighth Amendment prohibits cruel AND unusual punishment. Not punishment that is merely cruel. What is more it did not apply to the States until recently.

The US has had its own share of torturers. You can’t read much crime fiction without coming across the Third Degree. Everyone tortures. Just not in public.

Ricardo May 22, 2012 at 2:29 am

The 8th Amendment was copied almost word-for-word from the English Bill of Rights of 1689: “That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”

liberalarts May 22, 2012 at 6:39 am

Interesting. My recollection is that Guy Fawkes was tortured extensively to get his confession earlier in that century, but I doubt that it was sympathy for him that led to inclusion of that in their Bill of Rights.

Tracy W May 22, 2012 at 7:12 am

Nope, it was much more likely to be the Bloody Assizes in 1685, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bloody_Assizes (and some other abuses of power).

Ricardo May 22, 2012 at 10:16 am

It’s not my area, but I think a lot of the English Bill of Rights was a reaction against arbitrary royal power that had been exercised by the Star Chamber and the Privy Council and came in the aftermath of James II’s removal from power. As I understand it, Blackstone said there was no tradition of torture in common law courts but it had been recognized as a royal privilege exercised through the Privy Council, as in the Guy Fawkes case (and many others). The English Bill of Rights abolished this arrangement by requiring all punishments meted out to prisoners to conform to acts of Parliament.

Michael Fisk May 21, 2012 at 6:08 pm

From reading the bottom of the ad, it appears as though it’s meant to draw attention to a UK-based anti-torture NGO.

Definitely draws attention, though.

Bill May 22, 2012 at 1:57 am

This is MRginal Revolution. We don’t care about the facts.

Look at the post and comments to confirm.

Unblinkered May 22, 2012 at 7:37 pm

What facts require correcting… both in the piece or in the thread

celestus May 21, 2012 at 6:44 pm

Surely a senior torturer would be better paid than that?

TallDave May 21, 2012 at 7:33 pm

Fortunately, he’s probably a typical ZMP gov’t worker.

Rahul May 21, 2012 at 8:18 pm

What’s the going salary, say, at Gitmo?

TallDave May 22, 2012 at 9:23 am

I always wondered what guy making their Rice Pilaf was paid.

So Much For Subtlety May 21, 2012 at 9:54 pm

I bet the job does not exist. In the sense that the people who do it would never describe what they do as torture or themselves as torturers.

Mr. Total Bitterness May 21, 2012 at 10:40 pm

At last, the perfect job for my unemployed ex-wife….

Robert Olson May 21, 2012 at 11:03 pm

What’s sad is that I would get paid more to do this than argue with insurance companies in order to get provide seizure medication to children of military veterans.

Black Death May 22, 2012 at 2:34 pm

If you blow the ad up, you’ll see that it’s a hoax by an anti-torture group.

Jim May 22, 2012 at 5:55 pm

It is a real ad; it’s just that it’s a personal ad.

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