Why Torture Doesn’t Work

DUBLIN – Interrogation is far too important to be left to amateurs. Obtaining actionable and reliable intelligence can be crucial to activities ranging from everyday law enforcement to preventing acts of terror. That’s why interrogation techniques should be based on brain and behavioral sciences, not on the fevered imaginings of Hollywood producers that are believed by politicians, supported by lawyers, and carried out by amateur torturers. Torture has been with us for all of human history – even if it has not always been called by that name. Democracies, for example, tend to use torture secretly and prefer techniques that target core psychological, neural, and physiological functions. These methods – near-drowning, suffocation, shackling, or stress positions to inflict physical pain, as well as sensory assaults such as freezing temperatures, loud…


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