"This confusion about the salience of motive came up in the torture debates of the last decade all the time, as well. People justifying the interrogation techniques used at Guantanamo would argue, look, having a dog bark at you is not torture. Setting the thermostat at 60 degrees Fahrenheit is not torture. Slapping someone in the face is not torture. Heck, I went through worse than that at fraternity hazing! In fact, all these things can be torture, depending on how the government is using them and to what end. Whether or not these things are torture depends on whether they are being applied by government officials in ways they know will cause prisoners severe physical or mental suffering, in order to coerce them into taking actions or revealing information."
- M.S., writing in the Economist