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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: 10 May 2021

Torture’s Garden

Torture’s Garden

(p.195) 12 Torture’s Garden
Does Torture Work?

John W. Schiemann

Oxford University Press

This chapter collects the equilibria, observations, propositions, and implications over the past six chapters and compares them to the four benchmarks. A failure to meet these normative standards would mean that the proponent model fails to satisfy even its own criteria for justifying interrogational torture. The outcomes derived from following the proponent’s own logic of interrogational torture fail to match their predictions. As a result, interrogational torture fails to meet the four benchmarks identified by torture proponents as justifying the practice. The information generated by torture is unreliable, but torture will be more frequent and brutal than even proponents envision and would accept. The only possible justification for interrogational torture is that it is effective in reliably generating reliable information. This is a necessary (if not necessarily sufficient) condition for the practice ever to be justified. The failure to meet this condition refutes the pragmatic justification of torture for information.

Keywords:   equilibria, normative standards

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