Terrorist Torture Scenario with a Twist
Jim Henley poses an interesting hypothetical in this month’s Reason Magazine:
Let’s say you’ve caught a suspect and you’re sure he’s a terrorist, and you’re sure there’s a nuclear bomb somewhere in Manhattan, and you’re sure he knows where it is, and you’re sure this particular terrorist has been trained to resist torture just long enough that you could never get the true location of the bomb out of him in time. But you’re also sure this particular terrorist is a pervert! And he tells you that if you’ll rape your own child in front of him, he’ll tell you exactly where the bomb is and how to disarm it. And you’re sure that he will, because your intelligence is that good in exactly that way.
He wonders why “we hear so much about the torture quandary and nothing about mine?” The rest of the piece provides a pretty good answer.