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Reason Talks Torture Scenarios


You’ve heard the justifications for torture before…….”What if (fill in this space with a horrible scenario that could only be averted by torturing somebody you knew had the information you needed)?”

Yes, it’s the 24-ification of America, and post 9/11 we’re lousy with scenarios like these to justify our actions.

Reason‘s Jim Henley brings some perspective to the debate…

This is a clue to the real misdirection of the ticking bomb scenario. It’s always presented as a “What would you do?â€Â? dilemma, but in truth it has nothing to do with you. The proper question is: “What should we allow officials embedded in the security bureaucracy to do with impunity? What shall we let their bosses order without legal repercussion?â€Â? […]

If you could stop a bomb from killing 1 million Manhattanites at the cost of your own life, would you do it? What if it would mean imprisonment for the rest of your life? Could you live with yourself if you let all those people die for your own comfort? If you couldn’t, and you somehow just had to torture this bad guy to stop the bomb, then you ought to do it anyway and face your punishment. Right? Leave possible pardons and runaway juries aside. We are hard men for hard times, and we want hard make-believe conundrums.

Definitely read the whole thing.