An expert opinion

The retired Air Force officer who was in charge of interrogating North Vietnamese POWs thinks Bush’s torturers are not merely goons, but clowns.

If you know what you’re doing, you can get information out of people without maltreating them. All the “ticking bomb” nonsense hides a simple fact: for supporters of torture (including Bush’s not-torture techniques such as waterboarding) the suffering of the prisoner is a feature, not a bug. It’s the whole point.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: