Issues raised by the alleged complicity of intelligence officials in torture in post-9/11 counter-terrorism

McCullough, Amber Elizabeth (2017) Issues raised by the alleged complicity of intelligence officials in torture in post-9/11 counter-terrorism. Masters thesis, University of Central Lancashire.

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The 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre introduced a new era of counter-terrorism initiatives, seemingly to match the heightened terrorist threat. Amongst these initiatives was the controversial extraordinary rendition programme led by the US, assisted by the UK amongst other States, which centred on the torture of those suspected of contributing to Islamic terrorism. This programme signified that States are prepared to allow their agents to commit or be complicit in acts that are internationally prohibited.
There has been plenty of academic discussion into the use of torture on terrorist suspects since these revelations. This thesis will not just critically examine previous proposals for the use of torture in post-9/11 counter-terrorism, including torture warrants, torture lite, and ex-post defences, but it will go further by examining these proposals in the context of State complicity. This thesis will discuss complicity to mean receiving information from another State procured from torture, and/or enabling another State to commit torture.
It will critically discuss the morality of complicity in torture, how complicity in torture would improve counter-terrorism efforts, and how complicity would fit within the current legal framework. It will conclude that complicity in the use of torture is morally sound if it will directly prevent a terrorist attack from occurring, but that information obtained by torture would not be useful to a receiving State, because information obtained by torture is too unreliable to be used for both prevention and prosecution of terrorism. Therefore, it will argue that none of the previous proposals would be legally workable for the complicity of torture.

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