Tuesday, June 16, 2009


I'm tired of the torture debate.

I'm especially tired of the media and how it presents the debate. Almost always the story is set up as "human rights" versus "freedom to be safe", i.e. either torture the guy or the ticking time-bomb goes off. Almost never does anyone bring up the fact that torture doesn't work, let alone the fact that not torturing people but instead earning their respect and trust is what works.

Even my favorite, John Stewart, fails to bring up those points and falls into the debate of the ticking time bomb.

The more nuanced, pro-torture, debater brings up the argument that the anti-torturing side thinks that the idea of anything but the most benign interrogation techniques is not allowed. Again, this is a straw man, don't accept the argument, for once you do, you end up debating where to draw the line for torture.

The bottom line is:
  • torture doesn't work, you get bad intelligence
  • not torturing does work, it has worked, and it will continue to work
  • water boarding is torture
  • there's never been a ticking time bomb situation - stop watching 24

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