In defense of waterboarding

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Our frequent contributor Vasko Kohlmayer makes the case for waterboarding in Front Page Magazine. He finds it the most moral of coercive interrogation methods:

While other interrogation procedures employ raw force, intimidation or long—term duress, waterboarding brings the terrorist face to face with that which he himself seeks to inflict upon his victims — the horror of dying. Viewed in this light, waterboarding may well be the most just form of interrogation for this kind of criminal, because it gives him a taste of his own evil. The difference is that his anguish is stopped the moment he expresses a desire for it to be so. This, tragically, is something which his victims would never be granted.

He correctly directs our attention to the stakes in questioning terrorists who may have knowledge of plots to kill thousands (or more) innocents. Any calculus of morality must include the consequences of doing nothing to extract such information.

Like me, Vasko is puzzled by the thinking of those who would preclude this technqiue.

Thomas Lifson   10 01 06

Our frequent contributor Vasko Kohlmayer makes the case for waterboarding in Front Page Magazine. He finds it the most moral of coercive interrogation methods:

While other interrogation procedures employ raw force, intimidation or long—term duress, waterboarding brings the terrorist face to face with that which he himself seeks to inflict upon his victims — the horror of dying. Viewed in this light, waterboarding may well be the most just form of interrogation for this kind of criminal, because it gives him a taste of his own evil. The difference is that his anguish is stopped the moment he expresses a desire for it to be so. This, tragically, is something which his victims would never be granted.

He correctly directs our attention to the stakes in questioning terrorists who may have knowledge of plots to kill thousands (or more) innocents. Any calculus of morality must include the consequences of doing nothing to extract such information.

Like me, Vasko is puzzled by the thinking of those who would preclude this technqiue.

Thomas Lifson   10 01 06