This volume brings together the most important writing on torture and the 'war on terror by one of the leading US voices in the torture debate. Philosopher and legal ethicist David Luban reflects on this contentious topic in a powerful sequence of essays including two new and previously unpublished pieces. He analyzes the trade-offs between security and human rights, as well as the connection between torture, humiliation, and human dignity, the fallacy of using ticking bomb scenarios in debates about torture, and the ethics of government lawyers. The book develops an illuminating and novel conception of torture as the use of pain and suffering to communicate absolute dominance over the victim. Factually stimulating and legally informed, this volume provides the clearest analysis to date of the torture debate. It brings the story up to date by discussing the Obama administration's failure to hold torturers accountable.
David Luban is University Professor in Law and Philosophy at Georgetown University. His many publications include Lawyers and Justice: An Ethical Study (1988), Legal Modernism (1994), Legal Ethics and Human Dignity (2007), and well-known essays on just war theory and international criminal law.
Preface; Part I. Downgrading Rights and Expanding Power During Post-9/11 Panic: 1. The war on terrorism and the end of human rights; 2. Eight fallacies about liberty and security; Part II. The Ticking Bomb as Moral Fantasy and Moral Fraud: 3. Liberalism, torture, and the ticking bomb; 4. Unthinking the ticking bomb; Part III. The Evils of Torture: 5. A communicative conception of torture; 6. Human dignity, humiliation, and torture; 7. Mental torture: a critique of erasures in US law (with Henry Shue); Part IV. Complicity in Torture: 8. The torture lawyers of Washington; 9. Tales of terror: lessons for lawyers from the war on terrorism; 10. An affair to remember.