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During the Aes Sedai interrogation of Semirhage, they are chronically frustrated by Rand's prohibition against physical violence as a form of torture. Eventually:

Cadsuane breaks the forsaken by spanking her and forcing her to eat food off the floor

Spanking hardly counts as torture. The pain is negligible, and Cadsuane even acknowledges pain would have no effect on breaking Semirhage. But in the end she still does actually use pain as part of her interrogation techniques. Did she break Rand's prohibition in doing so?

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    The question would be improved with the actual quote from Rand about what he was prohibiting. – Paul Sep 13 '18 at 9:30
  • Actually I was hoping a good answer would hunt that down. – Mat Cauthon Sep 13 '18 at 12:08
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In the 21st century, lawyers for the US government argued that waterboarding did not constitute torture as prohibited by various national and international laws. The world of WoT is in many ways more medieval than ours.

  • Cadsuane might have concluded that the mostly psychological violence was within the rules; the spanking was intended and understood as humiliation rather than pain.
  • Cadsuane might have thought back to the novice training in the White Tower, where spanking is also routinely used. That might have prevented her from seeing it as "physical violence."

Or she might have told herself that she was (barely) within the letter of the rule while breaking the spirit of the rule. Supposedly Aes Sedai are good at that ...

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I'm not sure cause a few years have past since I did read it, but if I remember correctly, Cadsuane didn't swear fealty to Rand and wasn't very fond of the sisters who did so. Those Sisters might have been forced to follow Rands orders.

As the 3 Oaths don't apply cause physical damage that is not based on the One Power is inflicted. I don't see any reason why she shouldn't/couldn't use torture.

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