American Torture Policy, and Why the Military Opposes It

Beyond the moral and criminal grounds for being opposed to torture, former top military commanders give a purely utilitarian reason: it degrades our efforts to win.

The torture methods that Tenet defends have nurtured the recuperative power of the enemy. This war will be won or lost not on the battlefield but in the minds of potential supporters who have not yet thrown in their lot with the enemy. If we forfeit our values by signaling that they are negotiable in situations of grave or imminent danger, we drive those undecideds into the arms of the enemy. This way lies defeat, and we are well down the road to it.


2 responses to “American Torture Policy, and Why the Military Opposes It

  1. The picture you posted at the top of your blog entry destroys your whole argument. I’m sure the person receiving the torture depicted there would much prefer sleep deprivation, listening to loud music, or being forced to sit in uncomfortable positions. If you want some more examples of real torture, you can go to my blog at

    My God, they feel that they are good
    Devoted servants of
    The Son of Man: why should I brood
    Because perverse their love?

    Their love of Christ expresses it
    In torture and aggression:
    How does the logic them acquit
    When making their confession?

    I take my stand in spirit: thou
    Dost know, affirmed, with whom:
    So my comeuppance do allow
    Though it be womb or tomb.

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