Torture And The Ultimate Ticking Bomb

Supporters of torture, who are unable to distinguish between reality and an episode of 24, frequently use ticking bomb scenarios to defend the use of torture. Perhaps the biggest incident of using torture in the hopes of stopping a bomb was in Japan before Hiroshima. Julian Sanchez points out that the use of torture did not help the Japanese. Not only wasn’t the bombing stopped, but misinformation obtained under torture wound up misleading the Japanese, to our benefit:

Whatever role the bombings played in hastening Japan’s unconditional surrender, it was probably enhanced by the testimony of captured Air Force First Lieutenant Marcus McDilda. Though he initially professed to know nothing about the Manhattan Project or the atomic bomb that had been dropped on Hiroshima—because he didn’t—under torture he “confessed” that, contrary to Japanese hopes that the Americans could not possibly have produced more than a few, the United States had hundreds ready for deployment, with Tokyo and Kyoto next on the list of targets.

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