Many folks want the lawyers who wrote the torture memos and the doctors and psychologists who devised the methods of torture to be punished for giving wrong advice to the President of the United States.
The philosopher of common sense thinks the wrong people are being blamed for the torture of “prisoners of war” held by the US government. Sure the staff people gave the advice, but consider this, would they have given the advice if they hadn’t been asked or probably told to justify what some in the Administration at the time had already decided to do? The Decider didn’t have to follow the advice. The Decider or someone close to him could have said “this is wrong.”
You are a doctor or a psychologist and are asked to come up with ways to make prisoners talk. Two choices: quit or do the job. You are told the president needs your help to defend the nation against the terrorists who might stage another attack any day now. The prisoners, you are told, may have valuable information that could prevent another attack on the US. You come up with some methods. Again, the Deciders don’t have to use the methods. But, they believe the methods will get results and haven’t their staff lawyers justified the use of torture as legal?
The blame, it seems to the philosopher of common sense, belongs with the person or persons who made the decision to torture “prisoners of war” to extract information.