Torture paradox

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As STEPHEN McGinty (Perspective, 26 January) rightly points out, some aspects of the new film Zero Dark Thirty once again highlight the queasy ethics of the use of torture for the greater good.

Is the use of torture, or, as the sanitised euphemism has it, “enhanced interrogation techniques” ever justified? In order to put this in perspective, perhaps one should consider a quote from George Orwell to the effect that: “We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence upon those who would do us harm.”

Nothing has changed since Orwell said that and the use of torture is no different: both are the unpleasant faces of necessity that we have to accept if we wish to live with a modicum of security in the world as it is today.

Brian Allan

Keith Street

Kincardine-on-Forth, Alloa