"In the head of the interrogated prisoner, a haze begins to form. His spirit is wearied to death, his legs are unsteady, and he has one sole desire: to sleep... Anyone who has experienced this desire knows that not even hunger and thirst are comparable with it..
"I came across prisoners who signed what they were ordered to sign, only to get what the interrogator promised them.
"He did not promise them their liberty; he did not promise them food to sate themselves. He promised them - if they signed - uninterrupted sleep! And, having signed, there was nothing in the world that could move them to risk again such nights and such days."
Yes. Yes, it is.
One last word, from Texas Law Professor Sanford Levinson:
It is foolish to assume that "torture" need involve the rack and the screw (or even waterboarding, which the U.S. seems to be moving away from). It is enough to keep people up for almost literally inhuman lengths of time. Or would anyone seriously argue that the sleep-deprivation apparently visited on Begin "really" wasn't "torture"? If so, what would such an argument be based on, beyond basically juvenile notions--drawn from reading too much action literature--that torture is necessarily restricted to certain kinds of inflictions of pain (or inductions of psychosis) and not others?
I just love having this debate.