In light of the recent terrorist attacks I believe it is high time to visit the subject of coercive interviewing. The laws which have protected us are no longer relevant to the threats we face and restrictions on law enforcement bodies are clearly exploited by those who wish us harm.

If it was certain that torture provides unreliable information that would settle the matter, but it is not certain. There are persuasive advocates on both sides of the issue who cite examples of the benefits or the losses incurred by the use of torture. Even if we were to say that torture sometimes does provide useful information and that it is possible to know when the information provided is accurate, the question would still remain about whether nations should use torture.

Have so-called “harsh” interrogation methods protected us from attacks on the homeland? Not even brutal totalitarian societies like the Nazis and the Soviets, which had no uncertainties about using torture, were able to completely prevent violent attacks against leaders or civilians.

The reality is that all societies are vulnerable to some, hopefully few, attacks on their civilian populations. No matter how harsh the method used to interrogate suspects, such attacks cannot be completely prevented by violence.

Instead of questioning our national security and blaming the government for its existence, each individual can guard his country against terrorism by just being vigilant and informative about any conspicuous malicious activity. By enlightening people with waves of profiling, thoughts and education we can change their mindset.

Paul Ekman, Ph.D.

Riya Jadhav



IRIANS – The Neuroscience Institute 

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