Ali Soufan is a former FBI agent who's spent a decade speaking out against torture. He helped expose CIA "enhanced interrogation techniques," and left the Bureau partly because of the agency's excessive use of it.
Illegal searches in violation of the Fourth Amendment could be justified by gaining evidence of crimes and prosecuting and convicting those who are guilty. Listening in on the content of all conversations could aid in learning of past and future acts of terrorism. The list is endless.
The Guardian has just published an exposé of interrogation teams run by two U.S. operatives acting under the authority of General David Petraeus in Iraq. It's clear that Petraeus not only knew of the "enhanced interrogation," but likely hired the thugs who were involved in it.
When we talk about torture "working" -- in the context of al Qaeda, for instance -- we presumably mean successfully extracting accurate information. But that's not what torture is about, and never has been.
11 years to the day after the Bush administration opened its notorious prison at Guantanamo Bay, Zero Dark Thirty opens nationwide. The filmmakers and distributors are evidently ignorant of the significance of the date -- a perfect indication of the carelessness and thoughtlessness of the film.
This increase in debate viewership is a very good thing. Or at least it could be if questions would go deeper -- beneath the surface of mere talking point positions -- to the moral or philosophical reasoning process candidates use to arrive at their views.
The capture of bin Laden argues elegantly against high-priced, nation-building, mission-creeping war, and its inevitable collateral damage, in order to go after individuals who are, at bottom, criminals.
There is only one thing that we know about torture that works for certain: torture debases us. It doesn't just debase its victims or those who perpetrate it. It debases all of us in whose name it is conducted.