Tortured Reasoning Essay

Alan Dershowitz Page 452-456 In Dershowitz’s article, he discusses the potential benefits of torture and how it can be viewed as doing the right thing. He starts off with discussing the “ticking time bomb” scenario and how people disagree on how to handle such a case. Dershowitz presents his conditional normative position on torture and discusses it further. He acknowledges that torture is done in the United States (was not proven when written, but at this current time it is well known that it did happen), but is done undercover in secrecy.

He truly believes that torture of a suspect is useful and recognizes its potential harm, but does not like the fact that it is done in secrecy. His answer to this problem is to make investigators go to a Judge for a warrant to preform torture on a suspect. He argues that in doing this, it would reduce the amount of torture committed and would make it less severe and shorter in time. He cites an example of warrantless wiretaps of Martin Luther King as proof that the requirement of warrants will reduce their use.

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He finishes up showing an example of how the nature of torture eing secret sends the wrong message to people who are involved with bad people. Dershowitz argues again that making the use of torture legal with a warrant will clear these misconceptions and make it more of an acceptable practice with a set of guidelines in place to ensure it is done correctly. Although it seems that Dershowitz has good intentions to do what is right, he lacks any counter arguments and assumes that everyone agrees with torture. This destroys his credibility by looking very uninformed about the topic.

He bases his argument round the highly unlikely situation of the “ticking time bomb” and feels that torture would be correct in this situation if there was a set of guidelines and a requirement of a warrant to do so. He leaves out the very large fact that torture in any form what so ever, is illegal under United States law and international law in which we have agreed to. It is not new precedent, our government has tried and convicted people of other nations and of our own for committing these crimes. He also fails to include why these are illegal.

He mainly discusses torture to be used as a form of nterrogation, but when we have a person in for an interrogation, they have no proof that the person did anything or would have the knowledge of any wrong doings. They have yet to be tried and convicted. If an innocent person was to be interrogated under legal methods, the worst case scenario is being yelled at for a couple hours. If there was a “ticking time bomb” and a Judge legally warranted torture to an innocent human, this person could endure lifelong physical and mental problems. Another problem with his argument is that people could give out false information.

It is human nature not to be tortured, and even if the person did not know the wanted information, they would give anything that the investigator wants for the torture to stop. And to finish, I do not see how requiring warrants to commit a crime would make it happen less. At this time, it is illegal and yet it still occurs. I think we should stick to the twenty first century tactics that prove to work instead of going back in time to enact punishments that go against our constitution and are extremely flawed. Tortured Reasoning By crocket982


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