The Libertarian Argument Against Torture
In a recent post I missed until seeing it linked by Andrew Sullivan, Radley Balko recants his previous position in support of torturing suspected terrorists. His new position is more-or-less what mine has been all along, but then I’m about a decade older than he is and have been thinking about this sort of thing professionally for over twenty years, going back to my cadet days.
Still, he offers the most concise libertarian critique of torture I’ve seen:
I should have opposed torture for the same reason I oppose just about every other surrender of power to the government that naive people (in this case, like me) tend to think looks good on paper: Because the government won’t use it competently, because the government will abuse it, and because the government will find new, inappropriate contexts in which to use it.
Indeed, it stands without the introductory material preceding the colon, which I provide only for context. Yes, it’s essentially the libertarian critique of everything. Still, it’s an excellent default position.