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Torture as an Interrogation Device Essay

Decent Essays
Torture is one of the most extreme methods of eliciting information; unfortunately, it has been used for centuries and is still prevalent worldwide.
Thesis: Counterterrorism through interrogation is wrong and leads to false information.

Scientific Perspective

In 2006 the Intelligence Science Board, a civilian board that advises the U.S. Department of Defense on technical and scientific matters, stated that there was information to support the declaration that torture produces reliable information. Shane O’Mara, a neurobiologist associated with Trinity College in Dublin, analyzed the interrogation methods of the Bush administration. O’Mara refers to such techniques as “folk psychology,” and “are unlikely to do anything other than
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Another serious pitfall of torture is confabulation (false memories), a resultant of the damage to the prefrontal cortex. A 2008 study showed that pain and stress retreat further into a murky situation where the detainee cannot tell truth from false knowledge. O’Mara argues that prolonged and sever stress does not support memory in the brain as stated by some. Coercive interrogations are unlikely to facilitate “the release of veridical information from long-term memory.” Indeed, torture provides the interrogator with false and unreliable information.
Unreliable Information

The act of torture can be traced back to the early history of man and the questionable validity of information extracted goes back as far. The third century Roman Jurist, Ulpian, wrote that information obtained via torture should not be trusted as some people are “so susceptible to pain that they will tell any lie rather than suffer it” (Peters, 1996). Nearly two millennia later, the discussion continues and the evidence more and more supports Ulpian’s assertion. Most torture victims will “confess” to any accusation if it will stop the pain. Although there are occasions where accurate information may be disclosed under duress, numerous victims have reveled that the truthful information that they did revel was interspersed with fictitious information to appease the interrogators to stop the pain (Conroy 2000). Studies have disclosed that as
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