I am grateful to the participants in a workshop on “Persuasion and Norms in International Relations,” held at Duke University on January 21 and 22, 2000, for their insightful comments. 1. AUGUSTO PINOCHET UGARTE, INTRODUCTION TO GEOPOLITICS 147 (1968). At the time the book was published, Pinochet was teaching at Chile’s Army War Academy. This passage was drawn to my attention by James Silver, J.D., M.A, Duke University, 2001. 2. For the purposes of this Essay, “Pinochet case” will be used to refer to the whole sequence of the political, diplomatic, and legal proceedings. This Essay also discusses the Pinochet case in relation to its individual proceedings in the British courts: Augusto Pinochet Ugarte, upon—a number of legal areas, including international criminal law, human rights, state immunity, jurisdiction, extradition, and the relationship between international law and domestic legal systems.3 The case cannot be fully understood solely from a legal perspective.
I was recently assigned with “the case for torture” and was trying to critique on this article as well. Appeal to emotion, logic fallacies and the lack of hard evidences are some of the most common themes for our essays. Yet when I was talking to my prof, she suggested that Michael Levin is by no means a fool and he knows what he was doing. In addition, because this article was published in Newsweek, it was not intended to be a peer-edited academic writing. And thus, those fallacies exist for a reason.
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First published in Newsweek, in 1982, "The Case for Torture," by Michael Levin, state that "torture is not merely permissible but morally mandatory" (201). "Michael Levin argues that torture is a mortal necessity in some situations; that torturing a terrorist is the moral thing to do if it prevents "future evils" (201). Levin examines three scenarios to persuade his readers that torture is justified. In the first circumstance, a terrorist has hidden an atomic bomb on Manhattan Island, and instead of revealing where the terrorist hid it, he would rather die than disclose the information. Another occurrence, someone plants a bomb on a jet; and he is the only one who can disarm it. Would you not do whatever it takes to save the innocent passengers? Finally, presume a group of terrorists kidnaped a newborn baby from a hospital. In a poll, four mothers were asked if they approved of torturing the kidnappers if that is what it would take to get their baby back. Absolutely, was their answer; and one said that she would like to be the one doing the torturing (201-202). Levin concludes his essay with "if life is so valuable that it must never be taken, the lives of the innocents must be saved even at the price of hurting the one who endangers them" (202).