Tortured mind

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NEIL Sinclair (Letters, 29 January) poses a preference for waterboarding over being held for years at Guantanamo Bay. But isn’t it the case that torture itself should be put on trial? Surely the right position is that both are morally wrong even if “legal”, or justified by necessity?

Arguably, the conduct of some allied personnel, for example at Abu Ghraib, reveals certain fundamental truths. Firstly, legal systems in themselves do not guarantee the protection of the individual against the state.

Didn’t the US Congress pass the Military Commissions Act to legalise Guantanamo and deny the Geneva Conventions?

Secondly, without moral law there are no limits to what politicians could do. Didn’t one US legal adviser claim the president could authorise even worse than “waterboarding”?

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk