In his Dec. 13 column (“Information is vital currency in our war against global jihadism”), M.D. Harmon doesn’t argue with the conclusion that some CIA-led interrogation is torture. He justifies the torture by citing numerous examples of brutal, barbaric actions by jihadists and by asserting that the torture has generated information that has prevented many attacks since 9/11.

I reject this end-justifies-the-means argument. Torture of prisoners is wrong. And ineffective. And leads to further atrocities by others — think of the message sent by showing captured Americans in orange Gitmo-style prisoner wear.

Harmon ends his piece by smugly attacking critics on the ground that they would somehow “rather” help our enemies, expose U.S. officials to increased risks, and cause our friends to distrust us. Harmon is wrong on all counts. These effects will instead come with torturing our prisoners.

Powers McGuire

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