This. So emphatically and terminally THIS.

Eric L. Lewis:

There is an absolute prohibition on torture not because the impulse is alien to human nature but because it is so deeply familiar. When torture does not work, the urge is to turn up the voltage and to widen the dragnet. We do not allow torture in the ticking time bomb scenario because when the would-be torturer looks out on the landscape, he sees it littered with ticking time bombs and people who might know something about them. We do not balance the costs and benefits to see if torture works because there will always be some argument that can be made that it works or it might work or people believed at the time that it would. By refocusing on whether torture worked, Vice President Cheney wants to deflect attention from the fact that civilized legal systems make torture criminal precisely because we are ever tempted that it might work.


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