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Can torture ever be justified? When is eavesdropping acceptable? Should a kidnapper be waterboarded to reveal where his victim has been hidden? Ever since 9/11 there has been an intense debate about the government's application of torture and the pervasive use of eavesdropping and data mining in order to thwart acts of terrorism. To create this seminal statement on torture and surveillance, Charles Fried and Gregory Fried have measured current controversies against the philosophies of Aristotle, Locke, Kant, and Machiavelli, and against the historic decisions, large and small, of Jefferson, Lincoln, and Pope Sixtus V, among many others. Because It Is Wrong t only discusses the behavior and justifications of Bush government officials but also examines more broadly what should be done when high officials have broken moral and legal rms in an attempt to protect us. This is a moral and philosophical meditation on some of the most urgent issues of our time.
Charles Fried, the Beneficial Professor Law at the Harvard Law School, has taught and written about legal philosophy and constitutional law for over forty years. He served as solicitor general of the United States in the Reagan administration and as a judge on the highest court of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. His books include Modern Liberty and the Limits of Government, Right and Wrong, and (with his son, Gregory Fried) Because It Is Wrong. Gregory Fried, is chair of the Philosophy Department at Suffolk University. His books include Heidegger's Polemos.