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(p. 1) A Blighted History: From the Lancaster Witch Trials to 9/11 

(p. 1) A Blighted History: From the Lancaster Witch Trials to 9/11
(p. 1) A Blighted History: From the Lancaster Witch Trials to 9/11

Laurence J. Alison

, Neil D. Shortland

, Frances Surmon-Böhr

, and Emily K. Alison

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date: 27 January 2021

This chapter outlines the history of “harsh” interrogation methods based on coercion and torture. This includes discussion of the US “Enhanced Interrogation” Program and the British military’s development and use of the “Five Techniques,” along with real-world examples, including the interrogation of two detainees thought to be associated with the 2001 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The chapter discusses the underlying theory behind the use of torture and coercion and explains why these interrogation methods are ineffective at obtaining reliable information from detainees. It also describes the reasons why torture continues to be used. Such reasons relate to revenge, dehumanization, and hatred.

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