Federico wrote:The usual argument of anti-torture people "they will tell the torturer anything just to make him stop", was probably right at the time of the Inquisition . Nowadays, if a strongly suspected terrorist and terrorists' trainer gives the torturer a false information when asked "where have you planted the bomb", and the bomb explodes killing scores of people, then he/she is kept under a protracted but non lethal form of torture until he/she provides a piece of useful information.
That's what I wrote in August 2010 for the thread "Is torture ever morally justifiable?" In other words, I believe that, in very specific cases, a non lethal form of torture such as "Waterboarding" might be morally justified to save lives.
More recently, an article in the Toronto Globe and Mail reveals that the CSIS (Canadian Security Intelligence Service) would use torture-tainted info.
At the same time, a CSIS briefing asserts that the agency has never condoned torture and finds it abhorrent.
They add, however, that Canadians would not forgive the intelligence service if it completely ignored information that could have been used to investigate and prevent a terrorist attack because that tip came from a country with a suspect human rights reputation.
It is obvious CSIS found itself in the horns of a dilemma: On one hand it considers torture immoral and would never directly use it to gather information. On the other hand, in the interest of the Canadian people, it wouldn't shy away from making use of information obtained through torture by a third party.
I would say the whole thing is rather hypocritical in a Pilatesque way: "You go ahead and torture the individual; I'll wash my hands of it but if you obtain some valuable information I will use it.