Torture Or Not To Torture Essay

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To Torture or Not to Torture

After World War II, countries put in the Geneva Conventions that governed the treatment of wartime prisoners and civilians in occupied territories because of the catastrophic and inhumane conduct that was perpetrated by the Germans, Japanese, and Italians (Center for Constitution Rights, 2006). Although there have been some amendments, for the most part, this agreement has remained in place until the onset of terrorist attacks. When the United States was attacked on its own soil in 2001 by al Qaeda, Americans became engaged in a different kind of war, a war against individuals without country borders, and it was coined the war on terrorism. With this in mind, officials determined that the rules of the Geneva Conventions did not apply, and interrogation techniques that utilized physical and psychological torture were appropriate. This unilateral decision to disregard common protocols was based on the consequentialism view; tormenting enemies is justified if lives can be saved. Torturous acts were acceptable, if captives divulged pertinent information. While the security of any country is imperative, torture under any circumstance is wrong, even if it is practical and the results are favorable. Intentionally tormenting or causing harm for any reason is inherently a depraved
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While the war on terrorism has required different strategies that were not utilized in other wars, the use of torture should not be included as new approach. The Geneva Conventions established protocols that ensured ethical treatment of prisoners because of the atrocities that happened in World War II. That being said, prisoners should be treated with respect, even if they are terrorists. Arthur Holmes (2007) states that, "It is an overall moral principle, all-inclusive and exceptionless, that should govern all of our actions"(p.54). Torture is never
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