Thursday, October 9, 2008

The CIA can do it to you, but you can't do it on film

Apparently "humiliating and degrading treatment" doesn't qualify as torture, but its depiction does qualify as obscenity. This from a Tampa judge who sentenced pornographer and sleazeball "Max Hardcore" to nearly four years in the slammer. As defense counsel explained to AVN, he faced sentencing enhancements for making money off the offending videos, for use of the Internet to distribute them, for a previous DUI, and for "sadomasochistic" content.

The defense argued that since the videos at issue didn't depict acts causing serious injury or pain, and therefore was not "sadistic or masochistic" material meriting an increased sentence. As Glenn Greenwald at observes, this is similar to the Bush Administration's legal defense of its "enhanced interrogation techniques," save that here the prosecution if for the depiction of consensual conduct rather than for forcing acts upon unwilling persons. But the judge said that in the context of an obscenity prosecution this "isn't even a close call" - no one needs to get hurt to earn you a longer prison sentence.

So: if you're a federal agent, you can, say, tie someone up and pee on them, with no fear of legal consequences. But if you tie someone up and pee on them with their consent, and you dare to record the heinous act, you could go to federal prison. (But please, if you do, at least do it with more class than this guy.)

H/t to let them eat pro-s/m feminist safe spaces.

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