Wednesday, September 5, 2007

The Argument for Torture

by Sam Vaknin
The Argument for Torture
September 04, 2007 02:00 PM EST

I. Practical Considerations

The problem of the "ticking bomb" - rediscovered after September 11 by Alan Dershowitz, a renowned criminal defense lawyer in the United States - is old hat. Should physical torture be applied - where psychological strain has failed - in order to discover the whereabouts of a ticking bomb and thus prevent a mass slaughter of the innocent? This apparent ethical dilemma has been confronted by ethicists and jurists from Great Britain to Israel.

Nor is Dershowitz's proposal to have the courts issue "torture warrants" (Los Angeles Times, November 8, 2001) unprecedented. In a controversial decision in 1996, the Supreme Court of Israel permitted its internal security forces to apply "moderate physical pressure" during the interrogation of suspects.

Full Story

Conservative Bloggers Comments:
The use of torture in certain cases is paramount (in my opinion) to our success in the war against terror. Does it need to be monitored? Is there the possibility for abuse? Are there important ethical questions to be addressed? The answer to these and many other important questions that arise is yes. As the author says, the only real reason for torture not to be used in certain cases is for its potential for abuse. This is an inherently poor argument to make against something that has so much upside (unless you are on the receiving end) in terms of law enforcement. Let's be clear, while I am advocating torture as a viable and necessary tool in the defense of our nation, I am NOT advocating it's use for anything and everything, nor am I saying it does not need to have some limits. Let's explore the limits, checks and balances and get this vital "tool" in the hands of our forces that need it most.

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