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Accounting for Enhanced Interrogation: Elite Perspectives
Deviant Behavior  (IF1.982),  Pub Date : 2022-03-10, DOI: 10.1080/01639625.2022.2048218
Myles Balfe


The Enhanced Interrogation programme was a medicalized initiative that used serious violence, at the least approaching torture in its severity, to extract information from detainees during the War on Terror. The programme’s activities are now widely viewed as grave forms of institutionally deviant behavior and have been condemned as such, including by health professional groups. While a considerable amount of research has been conducted into the Enhanced Interrogation programme there is currently a lack of research into elite perspectives on Enhanced Interrogation. This article analyses public accounts from lawyers, CIA Directors, and Government officials who were linked with the programme to examine how these individuals made sense of Enhanced Interrogation and how they sought to explain and assess it. The article maps the accounts of these individuals on to the justification framework developed by Scott and Lyman. The article highlights differences as well as similarities in the accounts of these elites.