The Pentagon recently made an interesting announcement. Concerned
that confessions by enemy combatants (at Guantanomo) extracted by waterboarding and other extreme methods would be thrown
out of court, they have employed a "clean team" of agents to re-interrrogate these men. The idea is to get fresh
confessions through less objectionable means.
But would these subsequent confessions be untainted? As a public
defender writes to ask me, rhetorically: "If I were a detainee, having been tortured once by the same agencies, would
I forget the possibility that resistance was futile?"
Two of the leading presidential candidates, Senators John McCain and
Barack Obama, deserve praise in these quarters. McCain has led the fight against the torturing of designated enemy combatants,
and Obama (as a state senator) sponsored legislation requiring the videotaping of interrogations in capital cases.
A visitor to this site writes: "People are very invested in their
feelings about the death penalty, and it's hard to change your mind if part of that means accepting that one reason to do
so is the high cost you've paid, like acknowledging the possibility that your side executed some innocent people or came very
close to doing so."