Michael J. Broyde is a law professor at Emory University and rabbi of the Young Israel synagogue in Atlanta. In the July 7th issue of The Jewish Week, Professor Broyde has written an essay on torture and its permissibility under Halacha (Jewish religious law). In his essay he discusses such techniques as “…take five prisoners up in a helicopter and ask one of them a question. If he refused to answer, he was summarily pushed out of the helicopter and the next prisoner was questioned. This method, however brutal it seems to us civilians, produced the needed results.”
Professor Broyde writes:
In a recent monograph published by the Center for Jewish Studies at Queens College as well as a forthcoming chapter in an Orthodox Forum volume, I have shown that torture is permissible and consistent with halacha in all situations where there is a proper, thoughtful military chain of command (the higher up a decision goes, the more thought tends to be put in) and no other reasonable alternative is available.
So what do our resident halacha scholars have to say about this?