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Torture doesn’t work

In last month's Prospect, Michael Ignatieff wondered if torture, under some circumstances, may make us safer. The answer is a firm no

By Steve Crawshaw   May 2006

The subtitle of the recently published Human Rights Watch volume of essays on Torture asks “Does it make us safer? Is it ever OK?” Michael Ignatieff’s essay for that volume, excerpted in April’s Prospect, seems to answer those questions with, respectively, a “yes, probably” and an “in the circumstances, many might think so.”

Ignatieff personally rejects torture as a solution. None the less, he opens the door for those with fewer scruples, arguing that “moral prohibition comes at a price” and that those of us who oppose torture should “also be honest enough to admit that we may have a…

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