Getting to the right question on torture

Eugene Volokh, in Tentative thoughts on torture (17 June 2002), summarizes the issues involved in the use of torture. But these issues are not why Abu Grahib was such a big deal nor why the ICRC decided the treatment of Gitmo prisoners was “tantamount to torture” or why the Democrats are planning an assault on an AG nominee centering on his evaluation of the legal issues on torture at the beginning of the GWOT.

As always, the first problem is to ask the right question. In this case the question is “what is torture?” For some, poverty and disease could be torture. For others, any denial of any freedom could be considered torture. And there are some that will use any ambiguity they can find or create in order to fabricate an issue they can attempt to use for political gain.

Be aware, be skeptical.

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