Why Is Torture A Suspect?

849 WordsMay 11, 20164 Pages
Deciding Who to Torture Ideally, the decision to interrogate is based on solid evidence linking a suspect to terrorist activities or indicating that a suspect is in possession of formation. However, too often, the decision to interrogate is based on whether a suspect seems to fit a “terrorist profile,” behavior that is perceived as suspicious, or association with known or suspected terrorists. In 2002, MaherArar, a Canadian citizen of Syrian birth, was seized by U.S. officials at Kennedy International Airport. He was subjected to intense interrogation over the course of several days, and then flown to Syria for in-depth interrogation. He was held in a small, dimly lit prison cell and repeatedly beaten over the course of 10 months. To stop…show more content…
Now, more than 400 of these men have been released or cleared for release. A related complication is that intelligence gathering typically involves the time-consuming and laborious process of sifting through piles and piles of information to identify suspected terrorists. This process often yields many suspects but few confirmed terrorists. For example, in the two and a half years following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, U.S. intelligence agencies arrested more than 5,000 suspected terrorists. There was sufficient hard evidence to bring formal charges against only three of these suspects and only one of these three was convicted (Scary, 2005). If the false alarm rate is high, and torture is an interrogation option, it is inevitable that many innocent suspects will be tortured. Differences between Criminal and National Security Interrogations In several important respects, civilian criminal interrogations differ from national security interrogations conducted by the military or intelligence Arguing Enhanced Interrogation agencies. These differences tend to make the risk of eliciting unreliable information greater for national security than for criminal interrogations. Factors such as coerciveness, time focus (past vs. future), suspect resistance, cultural misunderstanding, and the capacity to verify information can affect the process of interrogation in distinct ways. Coerciveness As noted earlier, the basic
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