Torture: A Collection
Torture is perhaps the most unequivocally banned practice in the world today. Yet within six weeks after September 11, articles began appearing suggesting that torture might be "required" in order to interrogate suspected terrorists about future possibilities of violence. The United States and some of its allies are using methods of questioning relating to the war on terrorism that could be described as torture or, at the very least, as inhuman and degrading. It is known that the United States sent some suspected terrorists to allied countries that are well known to engage in torture. And in terror's wake, the use of such methods, at least under some conditions, has gained some prominent defenders.
Torture: A Collection brings together leading lawyers, political theorists, social scientists, and public intellectuals to debate the advisability of maintaining the absolute ban on torture and to reflect on what it says about our societies if we do--or do not--adhere to it in all circumstances. One important question is how we define torture at all. Are "cruel and inhumane" practices that result in profound physical or mental discomfort tolerable so long as they do not meet some definition of "torture"? And how much "transparency" do we really want with regard to interrogation practices? Is "don't ask, don't tell" an acceptable response to those who concern themselves about these practices? Addressing these questions and more, this book tackles one of the most controversial issues that we face today.
The noted contributors include Ariel Dorfman, Elaine Scarry, Alan Dershowitz, Judge Richard Posner, Michael Walzer, Jean Bethke Elshtain, and other lawyers from both the United States and abroad.
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11 DEBATE ABOLISH TORTURE absolute Abu Ghraib accept actions Alan Dershowitz Amnesty International argue argument ATTEMPTS TO ABOLISH authority ban on torture Chavez circumstances civil committed conduct confession constitutional CONTEMPLATING TORTURE context Convention against Torture crime cruel decision degrading treatment Dershowitz detainees dirty hands Elaine Scarry enforcement essay evidence evil force in interrogation harm human rights Ibid individual inflicted Inhuman or Degrading inhuman treatment innocent international law interrogation methods interrogational torture Israel Israeli Supreme Court judicial justified Khalid Sheikh Mohammed killing Landau Commission law of proof law of torture Law Review ment Michael Walzer Miranda Miranda warnings moral necessity defense norms officials pain person PHILOSOPHICAL CONSIDERATIONS physical means police political prevent prisoner prohibition on torture question ratify reasons rules terrorism terrorist threat ticking bomb tion TORTURE AS PRACTICED TORTURE THROUGH LAW treatment or punishment treaty ture United victim violations