Napoleon knew that torture was ineffective. The US military has long known that torture was ineffective. Heck, even the Nazis knew that torture was ineffective: they treated prisoners who actually had valuable information very differently than those they simply wanted to intimidate or terrorize.
Though there have been any number of previous diaries on torture, many with much thought and research (e.g. here), my goal here is more modest. Progressives have been clear in arguing that torture is unethical; despite Aliceand others I really do think we have. But my point is that we also need to clearly argue that torture is ineffective, because its perceived effectiveness is the only politically compelling argument in its favor.
The MSM narrative as currently constructed tries to put everyone in just two boxes on this issue. One position is immoral, the other opens progressives to attack.
- Yes, I believe in doing whatever is necessary, including torture, to get information.
- I don't believe in torture, and will forgo whatever information might have been gained; I am willing to take the risk that we will miss out on vital information.
But there is a third position, which seems much stronger for progressives:
- I don't believe torture has ever been or ever will be an effective means of interrogation. Not only is torture immoral; it is counter-productive. Using torture both strips away our humanity and gives us false and unreliable information.
I don't expect Republican apologists or candidates to articulate this third position. Clearly, a lot of journalists don't seem to get it either.
But what I don't understand is why this third position isn't clearer to us, and isn't more clearly articulated by progressives?
Repeat after me, please: Torture is both immoral and ineffective.