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Does Torture Work?$
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John W. Schiemann

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780190262365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190262365.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 11 May 2021

Interrogating Torture

Interrogating Torture

(p.1) 1 Interrogating Torture
Does Torture Work?

John W. Schiemann

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 opens with the 2002 capture, rendition, and interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, thought by the CIA to be a high-ranking member of Al Qaeda. Controversy about the Zubaydah case illustrates the questions motivating the book. Does interrogational torture work? What is meant by “work”? How good does the information have to be for torture to “work”? How often must it provide good information to be considered effective? What is the price of this degree of effectiveness? How frequently must torture be used to achieve it? How harsh must the torture be? Will innocent detainees be tortured or only guilty ones? After establishing the political and normative importance of these questions, this chapter introduces the reader to game theory and anticipates some objections to using it before providing a roadmap through the argument and book. This chapter and those following end with a summary of where the argument stands.

Keywords:   Abu Zubaydah, Al Qaeda, interrogational torture, CIA, effectiveness, game theory

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