Tara McKelvey, a 2011 Guggenheim fellow, is the author of Monstering: Inside America’s Policy of Secret Interrogations and Torture in the Terror War. She writes frequently for The New York Times Book Review.
Defenders of torture dwell not only in the White House and Pentagon,
but in the halls of academia. When prominent law professors and
academics cite the fantastic “ticking-bomb theory,” they not only
spread misinformation and foster a perpetual state of fear, but they
use their credentials to legitimize a culture of torture.
“Do what has to be done” is the motto of the investigative arm of the
US military. But when the understaffed institution regularly loses
evidence and delays autopsies, it does too little. When it attempts to
protect evidence by detaining witnesses, it does too much. A look at
the inherently flawed investigations of detainees.