austindefender

Criminal defense in Austin Texas.

Torture

Posted By on December 20, 2008

Alberto Mora, the former Navy general counsel who protested the abuses, told the Senate committee that “there are serving U.S. flag-rank officers who maintain that the first and second identifiable causes of U.S. combat deaths in Iraq — as judged by their effectiveness in recruiting insurgent fighters into combat — are, respectively, the symbols of Abu Ghraib and Guantánamo.”

NYT 12/17/08

I don’t suppose any of this is all that controversial anymore, but there was a time, not that long ago, when serious people spent a lot of time talking about when it was, and when it wasn’t ok to torture people.

Usually the “ticking time bomb” was invoked – that fictional situation where the only way to stop a terrorist attack is to torture the terrorist into telling you.

Completely aside from the real-world impossibilities of the scenario (has it ever happened, anywhere in the world, other than in Hollywood?), there’s another problem with torture.

You can get someone to say anything you want them to say, but you can never know if what they told you was the truth.

The problem with torture isn’t just that it’s immoral, it’s that it’s unreliable.

That, fundamentally, is why it isn’t allowed in court.


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