Jeff Ely on torture and commitment
Here is an easier-to-follow version of his argument on torture:
A big problem with torture in general is that its effectiveness is inherently limited by commitment problems. If torture leads to quick concessions then it will cease quickly in the absence of a concession (but of course continue once a concession has revealed that the victim is informed ). But then there would be no concession. And as we wrote last week, raising the intensity of the torture only worsens this problem.