Good answers so far. And, I want to reiterate that I'm not proposing what caheidelberger describes as a Jack Bauer Hollywood scenario as an effective means of extracting information. Changing the topic to describe differing reasons for torture does not answer the question of what would you do if faced with the situation below.
There has been much discussion of torture of terrorists in an effort to extract information that some say saved American lives and others say saved no one.
There has been a lot of discussion on blogs about what is torture; is it wrong?; and the U.S. is an evil state for the actions of the past administration.
Okay. You are the President of the United States:
You have captured a terrorist whom your best intelligence people tell you knows of a plan to kill thousands of United States citizens.
Extracting the information will save thousands of innocent lives.
Now, we're all pretty smart out here on the lone prairieee. So, without discussing the pros or cons of torture, share with us here what YOU would do to convince a fanatic terrorist to spit out information that will prevent future carnage.
Here is one possible method:
Bring the terrorist and one of his compatriots to a small room containing two chairs.
Line the chairs up so that the terrorist who knows the most is seated behind the other.
Ask that terrorist what he knows, and allow him to answer.
A.) If he answers, return the two to their cells and explore the truthfulness of his answer.
B.) If he refuses to answer, unholster a .45 cal. weapon, place the barrel firmly between his eyes and discharge the firearm, making sure the decedent's brains, blood, skin, hair and bone soil the other terrorist.
Advance to the other terrorist, gently place the barrel of the gun between his eyes without bruising or scratching and calmly ask: "Did you have something you wished to share?"
There is no torture. The first terrorist dies instantly without pain or prior knowledge or suspicion that he is about to meet his virgins. The second terrorist witnessed a messy execution, which he has likely seen before.
I'm not proposing the method above be used. It is extreme, I understand. But when faced with the Geneva Convention's rules of interrogation, it seems to me that it is the duty of the U.S. to allow thousands of innocents to die.
Not so? What would YOU do? What would YOU authorize? Rather than bitch about what others in this position have done, or what the current administration may not be doing, let's come up with REAL solutions – ones that are worthy of the great minds of the high plains – so we can dutifully forward to a grateful administration.