Torture warrants and democratic states: Dirty hands in an age of terror

Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (1):93-112 (2010)
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Abstract

In the aftermath of September 11, 2001, policy makers and others have debated the question of whether or not the United States should torture in an effort to prevent terrorist attacks. In a series of controversial essays, the legal theorist Alan Dershowitz argues that, if a democratic society is going to torture, it should at least be done under the cover of law. To that end, he recommends establishing a legal mechanism by which a judge could issue torture warrants—much as they do now for search warrants. In this essay, I examine Dershowitz's proposal in light of Michael Walzer's classic essay on dirty hands. Just as Walzer uses political theater as a lens for viewing the issue of political assassination, I similarly draw upon a dramatic response to Dershowitz's proposal to think through the issue of torture warrants

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Citations of this work

What kind of person could be a torturer?John P. Reeder Jr - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (1):67-92.

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References found in this work

Political action: The problem of dirty hands.Michael Walzer - 1973 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 2 (2):160-180.
Torture.Henry Shue - 1978 - Philosophy and Public Affairs 7 (2):124-143.
Torture? : The case for dirty Harry and against Alan Dershowitz.Uwe Steinhoff - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (3):337-353.
What kind of person could be a torturer?John P. Reeder Jr - 2010 - Journal of Religious Ethics 38 (1):67-92.

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