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One More Thought

October 8, 2009

Having just returned from a rather spirited debate between the Harvard Republicans and Democrats over the use of harsh interrogation techniques by the United States, I think that it would be appropriate to respond to two specific points that the Democrats brought up in the debate.

First, they argued that the United States should not make use of the techniques because there is a chance that those interrogated are lying when they provide information, and later in the debate gave an example of how giving the interrogated terrorist sugar-free cookies yielded greater results than harshly interrogating the terrorist. If we follow the Democrat’s argument and apply it to other scenarios, unless the CIA also placed some veritaserum in those cookies, we would be forced to believe that the terrorist was lying after eating the cookie as well. Furthermore, if the terrorists are lying while being placed under the stress of harsh interrogation methods, then we would have to believe that they are not telling the truth in all other forms of interrogation as well. We might as well not even interrogate them, because there is always the possibility that they could be deceiving us.

The second point made was that there has been no proof that the knowledge gained from these harsh interrogation techniques actually leads to the prevention of attacks on U.S. soil. The proof that interrogation techniques works is most obviously portrayed by the number of possible attacks that have been thwarted by our intelligence forces and the lack of attacks on U.S. soil in the past eight years. The techniques have proven themselves effective, and I for one am not willing to risk the safety of the citizens of this country in order to gain political points.

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