Today we can say again in a loud and clear voice, the United States should never condone or practice torture anywhere in the world… America is at our best when our actions match our values… Yes, the threat of terrorism is real and urgent, scores of children were just murdered in Pakistan, beheadings in the Middle East, a siege in Sydney, these tragedies not only break hearts but should steel our resolve and underscore that our values are what set us apart from our adversaries (“Should Interrogation Techniques”).
In the article, “The Torture Myth,” Anne Applebaum explores the controversial topic of torture practices, focused primarily in The United States. The article was published on January 12, 2005, inspired by the dramatic increase of tensions between terrorist organizations and The United States. Applebaum explores three equality titillating concepts within the article. Applebaum's questions the actual effectiveness of using torture as a means of obtaining valuable information in urgent times. Applebaum explores the ways in which she feels that the United States’ torture policy ultimately produces negative effects upon the country. Applebaum's final question is if torture is not optimally successful, why so much of society believes it
In both of these situations, Levin appeals to the emotion of fear to justify using torture for the greater good, even if it defies a person’s constitutional rights. Presenting the case of millions of lives terrorized by an atomic bomb threat, Levin claims torture is the only resolution if, somehow, the terrorist “is caught [two hours before detonation], but … won’t disclose where the bomb is” (Levin). The author defends torture in this hyperbolic and unrealistic example to set a precedent for the justification of more realistic cases involving more modest numbers. He uses a flawed and weak
In contrast, some individuals may debate that torture and even some more minuscule forms of torture can be beneficial to obtaining the information needed. It is debated that torture has been used in a large portion of political systems in history, and that the “degree” of torture is a significant component when deciphering right vs. wrong. Moher argues that in a political system where torture is justifiable and legal, the torture used would be less extreme than what it is today (Moher, 2013). It is reasoned that different degrees of torture are more acceptable than others, in that some are less psychologically and physically harming. A
In the article, “Laying Claim to a Higher Morality,” Melissa Mae discusses the controversial topic of using torture as a part of interrogating detainees. She finds the common ground between the supporting and opposing sides of the argument by comparing two different sources, “Inhuman Behavior” and “A Case for Torture.” Mae includes clear transitions from each side of the argument and concise details to ensure that the essay was well constructed. The purpose of the essay is clear, and it is interesting, insightful, and unbiased.
Torture has been a sensitive subject in our government and among the people of the US. The article “Torture is Wrong-But it Might Work” Bloche about how even though torture is not moral to some, it can still provide effective results because of advanced techniques and psychological studies. He goes on to say that many believe it is effective but others will say it does not provide adequate results in interrogation efforts. Senators such as John McCain (R-Ariz.) believe it does not help at all; however, other government officials, such as former attorney general Michael Mukasey and former vice president Dick Cheney, believe it does (Bloche 115).
The War on Terror has produced several different viewpoints on the utilization of torture and its effectiveness as a means to elicit information. A main argument has been supplied that torture is ineffective in its purpose to gather information from the victim. The usefulness of torture has been questioned because prisoners might use false information to elude their torturers, which has occurred in previous cases of torture. It has also been supposed that torture is necessary in order to use the information to save many lives. Torture has been compared to civil disobedience. In addition, the argument has been raised that torture is immoral and inhumane. Lastly, Some say that the acts are not even regarded as torture.
Every single person in America today grew up with the belief that torture is morally wrong. Popular culture, religious point of views, and every other form of culture for many decades has taught that it is a wrongdoing. But is torture really a wrong act to do? To examine the act of torture as either a means or an end we must inquire about whether torture is a means towards justice and therefore morally permissible to practice torture on certain occasions. “Three issues dominate the debates over the morality of torture: (1) Does torture work? (2) Is torture ever morally acceptable? And (3) What should be the state’s policy regarding the use of torture?” (Vaughn, 605). Torture “is the intentional inflicting of severe pain or suffering on people to punish or intimidate them or to extract information from them” (Vaughn, 604). The thought of torture can be a means of promoting justice by using both the Utilitarian view and the Aristotelian view. Using John Stuart Mills concept of utilitarianism, he focuses on the greatest happiness principle which helps us understand his perspective on torture and whether he believes it is acceptable to do so, and Aristotle uses the method of virtue of ethics to helps us better understand if he is for torture. The term torture shall be determined by exploring both philosophers’ definition of justice, what comprises a “just” act, what is considered “unjust”, and then determined if it would be accepted by, or condemned by either of these two
The subsequent case study, prepared by James P. Pfiffner, Torture and Public Policy, (2010) analyzes the torture and abuse of war prisoners by United States military personnel in Abu Ghraib, Iraq, and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, following photographs of the abuse spread around the world in the fall of 2003. Pfiffner points out that the United States Military, Secretary of State Donald Rumsfield, and President George W. Bush assumed a role in the events leading up to the exploitation, even though it has never been corroborated that President Bush or Secretary of State Rumsfield directly condoned the abuse.
The United States is considered one of the most powerful countries in the world. They have a well organized and trained armed forces. But, they were built with principles and moral standards. According to those rules, people could not do what they pleased all the time. The paper signed by the founding Fathers is, the Constitution of the United States, which prohibits the enforcers of the law to torture. Yet, it is still done. There is no straight statement that prohibits torture. An arguement of whether it can be legal or not is made, for the use of, retriving important information, the use of the 8th amendment and how 9/ 11 change some perspectives.
The United States citizens have been wrestling with the question of, whether their government intelligence agencies should be prohibited from using torture to gather information. According to Michael Ignatieff, this is the hardest case of what he describes as ‘lesser evil ethics’—a political ethics predicated on the idea that in emergencies leaders must choose between different evils Before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, torture was viewed by most American’s as only actions that brutal dictators would employ on their citizens, to keep order within their country. However, this all changed when in May 2004, The New Yorker released photographs from the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. The disturbing pictures were released on the internet showing bodies of naked Iraqis piled onto each other, others showed Iraqis being tortured and humiliated. There was a huge up roar, which caused the President at the time George W. Bush to publicly apologize, and threaten the job of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. Soon after, the CIA Conformed the use of waterboarding on three Al-Qaida suspects in 2002 and 2003, which further annihilated the topic. Since these reports, torture has been in the forefront of national politics, and the public opinion has been struggling to commit on whether torture is right or wrong.
The abuse of power transcended national boarders as the U.S. government turned a blind eye to American troops engaged in the unleashed and unchecked torture of prisoners of war. The use of torture is not in the national interest, as it has been found that the intelligence gained through torture is unreliable. Like the Japanese after Pearl Harbor, America consistently presses or even oversteps its Constitutional boundaries in times of national security.
In this article, Andrew Sullivan, is an advocate for the abolition of torture against terrorist in the United States. During the time that this article was written, the McCain Amendment (which banned torture) was on a political limbo. What this author talks mostly about is the choice that we have to make things right, therefore ban the use of torture against terrorist. This debate takes place after Bush administration defined "torture" and permitted coercive, physical abuse of enemy combatants if "military necessity" demands it. Also after several reports found severe abuse of detainees in Afghanistan and elsewhere that has led to at least two dozen deaths during interrogation, secret torture sites in Eastern Europe and innocent detainees being murdered.
The notion of “authorization” as permitting the existence of torture is apparent in the fact that though an individual may “theoretically, . . . [have] a choice” to refrain from such activity, “given the situational context . . . the concept of choice is not even present”; disobedience to the dictates of authority means “punishment, disgrace, humiliation, expulsion, or even death” (196). Therefore, one is freed from moral unease by the fact that he may feel trapped and unable to act against his superiors, as retaliation would be imminent. In some instances, as was demonstrated by