The clock is ticking . . .
Several days ago a bomb was detonated in one of the country's most populous cities, killing hundreds of people. Investigations pointed to a group of men who had recently been under surveillance, but who disappeared after the bombing, and who, it was later discovered, had purchased highly explosive materials just before their disappearance. A few days after the bombing, authorities found a man believed to be part of the group camping in a nearby forest. He asserted his innocence, claiming to know nothing about the bombing, let alone that there was a warrant for his arrest.
The missing explosives have convinced the interrogators that the terrorists are planning another attack and that this suspect has critical information about when and where the bombs will go off.
Now, after hours of standard interrogation, the suspect still refuses to reveal anything about the attack. With time running out, interrogators are considering more severe measures to make this man talk. If they are able to extract the information, they could prevent a deadly attack and save innocent lives. If they engage in torture to do so, however, they would not only violate national and international laws that protect the suspect's civil rights, but they would also potentially create a public-relations disaster for the government.
Should torture be legalized by international bodies for use exclusively in the ticking-time-bomb scenario?