This quote struck me as being highly relevant today as the truth about the CIA's interrogation techniques of so-called "terror suspects" and the destroyed video tapes that documented this torture swirls around the news coupled together with water-boarding for all suspects.
"Despite the mystique that surrounds it, and the understandable impulse to treat it as aberrant behavior beyond politics, torture is not particularly complicated or mysterious. A tool of the crudest kind of coercion, it crops up with great predictability whenever a local despot or a foerign occupier lacks the consent needed to rule: Marcos in the Philippines; the Shah in Iran; Saddam in Iraq; the French in Algeria; the Israelis in the occupied territories; the U.S. in Iraq and Afghanistan.
The widespread abuse of prisoners is a virtual foolproof indication that politicians are trying to impose a system - whether political,religious, or economic - that is rejected by large numbers of people they are ruling."
Klein, Naomi, The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism, Metropolitan Books, 2007, pg. 125.