Michael Scherer counters Thiessen:

According to Thiessen's unnamed sources, Zubaydah thanked his interrogators for forcing him to the edge of what he could physically and mentally endure, thereby freeing him of his religious obligation to not talk. The logic of this argumentation, as they say in the business, shocks my conscience.

Does it also follow that a victims of domestic violence who forgives her attacker's violence (or argues that it was justified) can also effectively erases the moral culpability of their abuser? Is Thiessen unfamiliar with the reams of research about the effects of Stockholm syndrome, which drives victims to identify with their attackers and behave in ways contrary to their own rational physical and emotional interests? Should confessions made under threat of physical and emotional harm now suddenly be considered credible, or germane to a discussion of the morality of that harm?

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.