Monday, April 24, 2006

Torture, Torture-Lite, and the Search for Truth, or Useful Lies

An six-month-old post on Brothers Judd (note: I have found that their blog crashes or nearly crashes Netscape, so I only look at it in Safari) supports the use of harsh interrogation techniques (whether most of these qualify as torture is somewhat debatable) with the suggestion that we can check out the information so-obtained and thus avoid the problem of getting out false confessions.

The problem of course, is whether or not getting the truth is the goal. As Charles Dodgson suggests, very likely part of the goal of interrogation is not getting accurate intelligence, but getting useful prop-tel (propaganda "intelligence," to use to support claims we make).

Considering Orrin Judd's "lying is okay if it gets me the results I want" philosophy, one has to wonder whether he really would stop interrogating a prisoner if he found out they didn't know anything, if he thought they could be made to say something politically useful.

That is all.

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