Friday, February 26, 2010
Christopher Tollefsen discusses here the recent effort by Marc Thiessen to evaluate, in Catholic terms, the "enhanced interrogation" of those suspected of having knowledge of planned terrorist attacks. Here is the concluding paragraph:
[T]he upshot of my discussion is this: if, as the double effect defense presupposes, waterboarding or some other interrogation technique is done in a way that is expected to cause harm to the suspect, then that harm is most likely intended as a means by the interrogator and double effect will not justify it. And if such techniques are performed with the intention to cause pain, but not either direct physical harm, or psychological disintegration, then they are likely to be ineffective. Either way, it is, in my view, a good thing that United State’s policy has moved (as it did in the second Bush term) beyond the grim, if understandable, policies of the first few years after 9/11.
Read the whole thing. And, since Public Discourse does not have comments-boxes, this might be an appropriate post for which to open them here. I am particularly interested not only in Tollefsen's conclusion regarding "enhanced interrogation", but also the "structure" of the double-effect reasoning that he employs.