“Ticking Time Bomb” Not a Basis for Policy

Maureen Byrnes, Executive Director of Human Rights First, released the following statement regarding Republican candidates’ discussion of interrogation techniques in the debate held May 15, 2007 in South Carolina:

“It’s a positive development that issues relating to torture and detention issues were discussed in last night’s presidential debate. However, this discussion focused on the so-called “ticking time bomb” scenario, which is a fundamentally flawed hypothetical and not a sound basis for making policy. In this context, references to “enhanced interrogation techniques” are a euphemism for abusive treatment. In 1947, the U.S. sentenced a Japanese military officer, Yukio Asano, to 15 years of hard labor for using a form of water-boarding (mock drowning). Such actions are abusive and illegal, rarely produce reliable intelligence, and cause the United States to lose the moral high ground.”


Published on May 16, 2007


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