In a recent article (7 Things Christians Should Know About Torture), I wrote that the recent Senate Report on the C.I.A.’s interrogation techniques should be the beginning, rather than the end, of the discussion on the morality and legality of torture. Since then I’ve been encouraged by the attempts to examine the issue (though I’ve been mostly disheartened by the outcomes supported).
For example, in a recent article in The Federalist, D.C. McAllister argues that “Yes, Christians Can Support Torture.” One of her primary claims is that,
If government officials have a known terrorist in custody, and it is certain that he has information needed to save lives, it is morally justified for them to use interrogative torture to get the information necessary to protect innocent life.
Her formulation of the issue is helpfully clarifying, though the use of the term “known terrorist” is unnecessarily limiting. Are we only justified in using interrogative torture when the person is “known” to be a terrorist? What if we know they have information necessary to protect innocent life but they cannot legitimately be labeled a “terrorist”? Continue reading →