Sunday, February 01, 2015

A Thought Experiment on Waterboarding

I posed a similar question to the one I am about to pose here, but I haven't yet seen anyone take up this question. So I am going to submit a scenario that is not only plausible but has probably occurred many times.

Several people have noted that the precedent of waterboarding being used with government approval will eventually result in its use civil matters. I don't think that is a stretch by any means. If you look at the paramilitary tactics currently deployed by police organizations throughout the United States, I think you would be naive to think otherwise.

Imagine that your child is away at college and lives in the dorms. His or her roommate makes a bad decision one night and tries to purchase some marijuana. During the deal, something goes badly awry, and several people are killed. The roommate is only guilty of the attempt to purchase and is otherwise in the wrong place at the wrong time.

When the police come and arrest the roommate several days later on suspicion of murder, they also detain your son or daughter for questioning as someone who is implicated as possibly having information on the crime.

So the question is, should the police have the authority to subject your child to waterboarding in this circumstance? If not, why not?


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