The Myth of "Torture Lite" (Essay)
Ethics & International Affairs, 2009, Spring, 23, 1
Ethics & International Affairs
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Since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 200l, the phrase "torture lite" has often appeared in public discourse, used by journalists, military intelligence personnel, and academics in discussions about the justifiability of the use of torture in the fight against terrorism. (1) Specifically, torture lite (and related terms, such as "enhanced interrogation" and "stress and duress") (2) has been used to distinguish between the traditional concept of torture, which we think of as violent, physically mutilating, and brutal, and certain interrogation methods that are, it is claimed, less severe, more restrained, and physically less violent. For example, Joseph Lelyveld in the New York Times argued for this distinction, and claimed further that torture lite techniques might be permissible; (3) Mark Bowden in the Atlantic Monthly argued that such techniques might be justified to fight terrorism; (4) and U.S. Naval Intelligence Officer Wayne Madsen, when interviewed in the Guardian, claimed that only torture lite (and not torture) was being used by U.S. military personnel in Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay. (5) However, despite the frequency with which the term is used, the distinction between torture and torture lite is not one that is recognized in any of the international conventions dealing with torture, and it does not directly refer to the distinction that is made in international conventions between torture and cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment. (6) Why, then, has the phrase "torture lite" become part of the public discourse on torture?
- 2,99 €
- Kategorie: Politik und Zeitgeschehen
- Erschienen: 22.03.2009
- Verlag: Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs
- Druckseiten: 28 Seiten
- Sprache: Englisch