Who starts making the decisions about who gets tortured? What degree of guilt? Who determines who is guilty and who isn't? Forget judges, lawyers and trials to determine guilty and innocent, let's all do it behind closed doors with no accountability. If there's a relative that has been seen in the wrong place then you can be guilty. Where does it stop and who draws the line? Might as well go back and live like the Eastern block police states where a knock on the door might mean you were going to disappear forever... Throw out people's rights and liberties because a few extremists have blown bombs killing a few people? It's ridiculous and motivated by irrational fears...
I think the rights and liberties of millions/billions is more important than a few thousand deaths. You can always say that maybe I would feel different if a relative died in a terrorist attack to which I can reply that maybe you would feel different if your sister was abucted in the middle of the night and is rotting in jail being tortured and is innocent. The knife cuts both ways and I choose rights and liberties over irrational fears.
I have no doubt that torture can be effective sometimes although there are no guarantees the information will be accurate. I just don't think that a civilized society should resort to it.
#2 You would not have (as that is what what implied by "new information" - obtained via interrogation).
I also did not say torture is necessary in every case. Every single case is different and it is not a "one size fits all" situation.
A good interrogator performs an in-depth evaluation of each specific subject (background, culture, physical characteristics and psychical / psychological condition ..if possible) and submits them to the interrogation technique which will be deemed most effective...(This may or may not include what you consider torture).
"I have no doubt that torture can be effective sometimes although there are no guarantees the information will be accurate. I just don't think that a civilized society should resort to it."
Then we agree Gilles.
yes like what climber has said, the whole scheme of extracting information is to obtain as close to the big picture as possible.
cross referencing the output from one guy versus another would provide you with the support you need to verify if one data point is correct/wrong versus the other data point.
to all those people that insist terrorist fight is not the same as fighting a war.. go check it out. everywhere in the world where they treat a terrorist fight seriously, its as sophisticated as a war..
the command centers are set up with contingency plans and SOPs to decide how battles are fight. Urban warfare research are carried out to ensure weapons suitable for the countryside can be used in the city!
Are we really that civilized? Has humanity really "evolved" that much? Sure we gained knowledge, and improved technology, but most of our key innovations over the past centuries have been derived out of finding new ways to kill or destroy each other.