[ I disagree. This is not about semantics. It's about what lines you think it is okay to cross in the name of saving "innocent lives." If you are willing to allow innocents to be tortured to save other innocents I would find that rather ironic given that the justification for the torture of innocents is the protection of innocent lives. ]
How do you know the person being tortured is innocent? Why did you assume we knew the information beforehand? If we did, torture wouldn't be needed. We're talking about terrorists here. Not the use of torture on a victim that may or may not be guilty. That was never the point. Once more, considering the US government only recruits its very best and elite operatives for the few units that could come across those situations, I trust they'd know the right thing to do. Not the moral thing. The right thing.
Asking ME that question is not a good idea. I am pro atomic bomb, pro death penalty, and if you asked me, terrorists would have no right whatsoever, they'd have less rights than my cat. I am not officer material, nor am I the most moral person ever. So if needed, I'd go pretty darn far. Good thing I'll never be in that kind of situation or have that kind of authority.I certainly value the lives of my family and friends more than some random foreign family. And hell, I'm not even a patriot in any way. But ever since my best friend lost her uncle in the WTC tragedy and then watched her sink deeply into depression and worse, and after serving in the army, I have ZERO tolerance or pity for terrorists and what happens to them when they get caught. They attack our freedom and OUR rights. Why should we give them any rights whatsoever?
[ Well, as you, I live in this world, and I'm sitting in this very moment on my computer, as you do, and of course I know that torture exists in civilised nations, and that it is used under special circumstances. But, it is forbidden, and it should be forbidden, and that is a good thing. Only under this strict law a civilised nation is able to keep this interrogation method as rare as possible, also to protect their own people. Really, I feel better if I know that not every single policeman, or any soldier is allowed to use torture to act as one thinks best. Because this happens if torture is allowed by law. Really, would you prefer to live in a nation, where torture is not restricted? Those nations exists in this world, and I don't want to live there. ]
I don't know for you. But I served my country, I was in the army for two years. So while now yes, I am here, I actually went and saw how it was for myself and it changed my life and my way of seeing the world.
And of course I wouldn't live in a country where torture is freely used. Of course I am glad only a very small number of operatives within the government are allowed to do these things.My point all along has never been that torture is a beautifully effective method that should be used all the time. It is simply that it has its place sometimes, and its uses. It's not perfect, it's not right. A lot of good men did questionable things for the greater good. One would argue that Truman shouldn't have ordered the nuclear attack on Japan. A lot of people were killed, innocent people. A lot more would have died, Americans, had he not done what he did.
But I'll say this. Some terrorists don't care about their own lives, but if confronted with their family about to die or get hurt, they might be willing to talk. Doesn't make it right, but it's still an option I would consider. I could go ahead and quote about 20 highly respected people like Patton, Wilde, Von Clausewitz, Asimov and a number of fabled generals and leaders that have plainly said that morals can't get in the way of doing what's right and that sometimes innocent lives must be sacrificed so that a greater number can live.