9780313366154 hardback alkaline paper 0313366152 hardback alkaline paper 9780313366161 ebook 0313366160 ebook
PSI reports (Westport, Conn.)
This book presents a cost-benefit analysis of torture, daring to ask if the use of torture is ever justified or always ill-advised. While the use of torture is variously presented either as an aberrant American weapon unleashed in the aftermath of the terror attacks of September 11 or as a necessary tool in the War on Terror, torture has a long history across cultures. Yet, the debate over the morality, and the legality, of the brutal practice flourishes. This volume presents a new angle in the study of this controversial practice, approaching the issue of torture from a cost-benefit analysis for the practicing nation, rather than from a sensationalist, emotive vantage point. Adopting a transnational approach, the author examines the use of torture by the French in Algeria, the Argentines within their own borders, the Israelis in the Middle East, and the Americans in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib. In attempting to define torture, he asks: Is the information gained through torture worth the potential damage? What is the harm (or benefit) to the state once the torture becomes known? What are the political and strategic ramifications? Does torture help win wars? Can the use of torture bring about any lasting or beneficial reforms? These are daring questions seldom pondered. In asking them, this book will help to foster a discussion that is long overdue.
Bibliography, etc. Note
Includes bibliographical references and index.
Formatted Contents Note
Torture: the goal of accountability and the world of impunity United States: de jure reform with torture lite and rendition Israel: soft compliance with judicial oversight of torture-lite France: supranational supervision but limited memory battles and accountability Argentina: the only case with prosecutions, reparations, and museums Spanish inquisition or millennium bombing plot: the value of torture as actionable intelligence, confession, obedience, intimidation, or deterrence? The politics of collective memory and torture reform Two sets of patterns in four states.