David D. Cole Quotes

… whether torture works, a major preoccupation of the Senate report, is the wrong question. The World’s governments did not negotiate a treaty banning it [torture] under all circumstances because it’s ineffective. They did so because it is immoral, inhumane, and unacceptable—even if it works.

 
Context
At the time CIA apologists for the torture they carried out with the facilitation of the Justice Department often justified the torture because they claimed that it worked. Critics rose to the bait and argued that proposition as there was much evidence that it did not, and nothing was learned that had not been obtained without torture. However, Cole argues that that was the wrong issue. Torture was outlawed whether it worked or not. The United States under Ronald Reagan signed the treaty and the Senate ratified it. Torture is wrong whether or not it works.
David D. Cole
David D. Cole
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  • Profession: National Legal Director

David D. Cole is the National Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Before joining the ACLU in July 2016, Cole was the Hon. George J. Mitchell Professor in Law and Public Policy at the Georgetown University Law Center from March 2014 through December 2016. He has published in various legal fields including constitutional law, national security, criminal justice, civil rights, and law and literature. Cole has litigated several significant First Amendment cases in the Supreme Court of the United States, as well a number of influential cases concerning civil rights and national security. He is also a legal correspondent to several mainstream media outlets and publications.

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