Michael Ignatieff doesn’t fair too well in McQuaig’s estimation either:
While Justice O'Connor shows how international law unequivocally rejects torture in all circumstances, Ignatieff has argued that if torture is being administered by a "non-sadistic" and patriotic American," then the torturer should be made to stand trial for his crime _ but be allowed the legal defence of "mitigation." We should be willing to cut the torturer a little slack, in other words, as long as he means well and is advancing the cause of America.
But it’s clear to me that there will be ticking bomb cases. There may be ticking bomb cases, I would always and unconditionally, outlaw any form, even a physical contact with an interrogation suspect, I’m not shaking, I’ve gone through the Israeli Supreme Court cases, I don’t want people being shaken and thrown against walls, I don’t want any of that, I don’t want physical torture. But repetitive, recursive, stress-inducing interrogation, yes, I can see us doing it. I can also see situations where in good faith an interrogator, a non-sadistic, patriotic American consciously believing he has to apply physical methods to save lives, would apply them, and they should always in every case, be punishable. That is to say, torture should be a criminal offence, period. Any physical means should be a criminal offence. I would then, it’s a standard legal doctrine, allow that in mitigation, that is, the right way to deal with this is not to permit physical methods, but to allow a mitigation excuse to be advanced in front of a jury when assessing the criminal charge that in my judgment should follow from the use of any physical methods. I can’t see any other way to do this.