Reasonable Torture Doesn’t Exist

by Zoe Pollock

Scott Horton interviewed father and son Charles and Gregory Fried about their book, Because It Is Wrong—Torture, Privacy and Presidential Power in the Age of Terror. Horton asked why they paired torture with privacy and surveillance:

[After 9/11] the general public, and even the informed public, reacted as if both transgressions were equally serious and equally deserving of condemnation. Indeed, there may have been a markedly greater tolerance of torture than of surveillance—maybe because few of us expect to undergo torture, but all feel our phones or Internet may be tapped into. This gets things exactly wrong. It is morally obtuse, an example of law fetishism, to equate the two just because they are both illegal. Torture is illegal because it is wrong and electronic surveillance is wrong—when it is—because it is illegal.

[From Reasonable Torture Doesn’t Exist]