One of the minor consequences of the present catastroophe is that it lets us lose the Cold War in retrospect. I mean that for generations it has been an article of faith among liberals, conservatives, decent socialists, and everyone who was not a paid Communist hack that the Moscow show trials were an evil farce, and that none of the accused were guilty of anything more than losing a power struggle. Yet they confessed. That was the evidence against theim, their full and detailed confessions, extracted after months of interrogation.
Up until now, we have always dismissed this as the consequence of torture. But now it turns out that they weren’t tortured at all. All of the “variety of unique and innovative ways” methods of interrogation that the CIA uses are not torture. So they weren’t torture, either, when the KGB used them.1 And the information that the KGB got from them must have been every bit as accurate as the information that the CIA is getting out of its prisoners. Bukharin really was working for British intelligence all along.
I am going to have to find the Gulag Archipelago and roll it through the scanner in order to stand up this parallel exactly — but if you want to read it yourself, there’s a relevant passage here.
And if you still can’t believe that Bukharin worked for British intelligence, in collaboration with the international Trotskyist conspiracy, come to Downing Street on Sunday. Wear black; we’ll be in mourning.
1 I know this makes them a little less unique, but how many forms of sleep deprivation, hunger, thirst and mock execution can you come up with?