Torture is always an evil option 2

June 18, 2004

There is only one piece of genetic research that may be relevant to the tortuous attempts of Alan Dershowitz to make torture an option for democratic policy-makers.

If there is an "attention-seeking gene", he seems to have a conspicuously mutant version. The most obvious symptom is the propensity to act shamelessly in the belief that all publicity is good publicity. At a time when most Americans are rightly ashamed of what has been done in their name in Baghdad dungeons, Dershowitz has chosen to repeat arguments he has made, and which have been falsified before.

Brendan O'Leary
Lauder professor of political science
Pennsylvania University

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