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Brooklyn College FBI Use of Torture Technique Case Study

You must answer THREE (3) OF THE FOUR (4) of questions below. Each of the questions are weighted equally. You will receive no extra credit or poins for answering all 4 of the questions.

  • You are the Head of the FBI Anti-terrorism division in Los Angeles. You have apprehended a suspect you have reason to believe is the member of a major terrorist organization.You have obtained additional information from an independent source that a nuclear bomb will be exploded within the next 24 hours somewhere in the city by the very same terrorist organization that this suspect is a member of. Your top police interrogators have tried questioning the suspect for the past several hours, but he either refuses to say anything or just laughs in their faces, and with a wild, crazed look in his eyes, makes gestures and sounds of a loud explosion. Based on your many years of law enforcement experience, you do not believe you will get any more information from the suspect via traditional questioning and that the only way to get information is through “less traditional means”. You face a real ethical dilemma. Do you torture the suspect in the hope that maybe he can provide information on the possible attack, perhaps saving millions of lives? Or, is it the case that the torture will not yield any type of meaningful response? What about the rights of the suspect? Using both Kantian and Utilitarian theories/models, argue both sides for and against using the torture techniques. Use examples from what was covered in class and from the readings. Be specific. You need not have any knowledge about anti-torture or Homeland Security-related laws in the United States, but you should assume that all forms of torture would be considered illegal in the situation described here.

2. You are the Director of Product Development at ABC Corp., a firm which manufacturers semiconductors.Your cousin happens to the CEO of DEF Corp., a major competitor of ABC. At a recent family gathering your cousin inquires how things are going for you at ABC and offers you a “part-time job” at DEF working in the same area of product development. Your cousin assures that you can work “remotely” and on “weekends” so as not interfere with your M-F, 9-5 schedule at ABC. While your cousin assured you that all this was on the “up and up”, he asked you to download and share with him all your project and development plans at ABC just to get a sense “what was going on at ABC”. Using the any of the concepts and theories covered in this class (including ethical theories and rationalizations) discuss the implications of accepting the DEF Corp. part-time offer. You need not have any knowledge of employment law, trade secret law or intellectual property law generally to answer this question. For those of you that do have knowledge in these areas, you will get no extra points or credit for incorporating such “additional information” in to your answer.

3. Is there a place or need for ethics in business? I want clear opinions, supported not by idle speculation or flim-flam, but rather by the substantive materials covered in class and from the course readings, including the case studies.You will be graded on the quality and depth of your answer (supported by solid arguments and sources to back them up) as opposed to any specific conclusion(s) you reach.

4. Using ethical theories and rationalizations discussed in class, compare and contrast the ethical lapses ofBernie Madoff, Elizabeth Holmes and Harvey Weinstein. Use examples. Be specific.

Use examples. Be specific.

For ALL of these questions you need not use any outside sources (other than those assigned and covered in this class). Citations are not necessary. If you wish to use them, you can include them at the end

Grading Rubric:

Following directions, style, and format: 25%

Quality of analysis and depth: 50%

Effective use of examples from readings, class discussions and videos: 25%


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