I have recently finished Alan Dershowitz's excellent The Case for Israel. The book will make you mad with the injustice that the Arabs (with frequent cooperation from much of the rest of the world) have perpetrated against Israel over the nearly 60 years of existence, and before. I highly recommend it.
In today's Wall Street Journal Dershowitz has an op-ed worth reading. Torture, much like war, is a terrible practice. Nevertheless, Dershowitz is one of the few liberal intellectuals out there who recognize that it is sometimes necessary:
Although I am personally opposed to the use of torture, I have no doubt that any president--indeed any leader of a democratic nation--would in fact authorize some forms of torture against a captured terrorist if he believed that this was the only way of securing information necessary to prevent an imminent mass casualty attack. The only dispute is whether he would do so openly with accountability or secretly with deniability. The former seems more consistent with democratic theory, the latter with typical political hypocrisy.I really respect Dershowitz for openly putting to rest some of the myths that people who, understandably perhaps, are opposed to torture continue to propagate:
There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.I am also strongly sympathetic to the legal framework that Dershowitz wants to impose here. If we agree that torture is sometimes necessary then let's specify, as much as possible the exact conditions for it and have appropriate legal responsibility so that it is not abused.