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What are your thoughts on torture?

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BigD10's picture
Joined: Oct 2005

The main reason that the Bush Administration is getting away with the torture of suspected terrorists is because their being labeled "enemy combatants." With this label, and the label terrorist itself, they are not associated with any kind of formal government/state, thus, not being protected under international guidelines such as the Geneva Conventions and the UN's guidelines on torture. So, when "tallgeese" calls them Prisoners of War (POW's) he/she is completley wrong. Being called a POW would imply a fair trail, additional rights, ect, ect...So, with this label, the government can do, essentialy, whatever the hell they want with the people that they are picking up off the battlefield because they are "suspected terrorists" and deemed a national security threat. A recent report from the United Nations would indicate that there are over 500 of these security threats in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and only 10% of them have been charged with a crime.

They question then becomes whether or not there is any sort of justification behind these uncharged detainments by the government. Many, such as "dbgt23" have posted very offensive things that only reinforce the stereotypes that surround the Muslim comminity, and might be one of the reasons that many "religious groups" hate the United States so much. I don't believe that torturing, per say, would garner any usefull evidence toward the United States greater cause, and in fact, will only perpetuate the global "war" on terrorism (WoT).

Think about this logically. You are in a cell for months, possibly even years at a time (Many prisoners at Guantanamo (GITMO for short) have been held for over 3 years). A guard comes in and pulls you out of your cell, and you're stripped of your clothing and asked a series of questions. Chances are, you'll answer the questions in a way to increase the likelihood that you will recieve your clothes, since it is against your religion to be exposed like that in public. Obviously, the information that is "beaten" out of these prisoners isn't credible at all, and probably won't be benificial toward the "war" effort.

In fact, even if a prisoner was to blurt out some evidence while being tortured, there is a high probability that it wouldn't be used in the Courts since it was extracted by means of torture and could've been tampered with. Again, proving that the information that we gain is worthless. So why even torture them?

But, while detaining these so called terrorists, we only increase the risk of having another incident like 9/11. Anti-American sentiment has grown world-wide because of the WoT and the policies surrounding it, such as the USA PATRIOT Act and detention centers such as GITMO. Recruiting for al-Quida has increased due to US policy making and the war in Iraq. Once a husband is picked up off the streets of Iraq, his son, brother, and uncle wonder, "Where the hell did John go?" They hate Americans now since we just aubducted their relative without any sort of justification and go and join the Taliban or al-Quida.

That's all I have to say for now.

-Big D

*Note: Spelling is not my forte.

caffran's picture
Joined: Mar 2006

I can definitely see torture in extraordinary circumstances i.e. imminent nuclear decimation, but otherwise it should be banned in this supposedly just country. It has obviously happened, in WW2, Vietnam, and Iraq, whether or not the government admits it. Even after physical scars heal, the mental scars of torture remain for a lifetime. Mental torture is as inhumane as physical, possibly more so. The Chinese water torture is possibly the horrible torture ever invented, even more so than the Spanish Inquisition's Iron Maiden.

All torture is VERY ineffective at providing reliable information. Think the Godfather: "I'm gonna make you an offer you can't refuse." Really, what are you putting on the paper, your signature or your brains? Or look up the Salem witch trials or the Spanish Inquisition (read Poe's The Pit and The Pendulum while you are at it).

The American Revolution was begun in part because of the British Admiralty Courts, which had the power to punish without trial, much like we do at GITMO. American supporters of the Patriot Act and GITMO internment for the good of the US are hypocrites, plain and simple. Tarring and feathering of Tories was little different than the humiliation of US soldiers taken prisoner in Iraq.

As for the "terrorists" in Iraq, the British government considered the Continentals to be terrorists as well. Not to say I support the insurgency, but really, without Bush's premature victory declaration, we would still be fighting the legitimate Iraqi Army, and thus the Geneva convention would apply. Most are fighting to rid their country of the invaders, some have been forced to fight, and many are pissed because a stray bomb vaporised their families. Don't forget this when you are horrified by beheadings and such...it's no different than the humiliating and torture of Iraqi prisoners of war.

Oh, and ALONG, you should realize that those innocent American "contractors" are better known as "mercenaries". Yeah.

[=1][=Comic Sans MS]Comfort the disturbed. Disturb the comfortable.

Lord, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to hide the bodies of those people I had to kill becau


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