Legitimizing Torture

Bad Arguments for a Dangerous Policy

In October, at the urging of Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.), the U.S. Senate voted overwhelmingly to place restrictions on interrogation techniques employed by the Department of Defense. The McCain Amendment, which was added to a defense appropriations bill, would bar the “cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment” of prisoners in U.S. custody. Though McCain’s proposal primarily reaffirms the standards of the existing War Crimes Act (not to mention the United...

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About the Author

Kristian Williams is the author of Our Enemies in Blue: Police and Power in America (Soft Skull Press, 2004) and American Methods: Torture and the Logic of Domination (South End Press).