Advocating for the United States Abolition of Torture
The United States has always prided itself on being a country of freedom. A country with liberty and justice for all. How can we as a nation still pride ourselves on these virtues when we subject people to torture? Where does the line get drawn when we allow torture to be used? We look at the Constitutional rights and the Geneva Convention, as having rules which clearly frown upon the use of torture. However under the Patriot Act we have seen the use of powers under this act to allow the use of torture which contradict the Constitution and the Geneva Convention, which were intended to stop the use of torture, and this become an issue. Do we terminate the use of torture, or do we continue to use the cruel, inhumane, and degrading acts on captivated ‘terrorists’?
The United States has violated the United States Constitutional rights by justifying the use of torture while abusing the laws set up to make boundaries against torture. Prisoners have certain Constitutional rights: “Inmates of American prisons do not have the full constitutional civil rights of an ordinary citizen, but they do receive some protection under the Constitution. Among these rights are the right to a punishment that is not cruel and unusual, due process, the right of access to parole and the right not to be discriminated against.” (Faranda) I agree that prisoners shouldn’t have all the same rights as everyone else, but I do not agree with the use of torture on prisoners who have been captured and held as suspected terrorist because they deserve the right to be treated humanely. The Constitution was ratified in June 1788, and in September 1789, Congress approved all 12 amendments and then directed them to all the states for ratification. Then, in December 1791, 10 out of the original 12 amendments were formally incorporated in the United States constitution. When the Constitution was created it was for the purpose of creating a national government that was effective and powerful, but which did not infringe upon the rights of the individual, or upon the powers of the states. (Mehta) The Constitution setup the government and defines it powers while at the same time protecting the rights of its citizens. With this in mind the United States should not give the right to the government, military or to anyone else to torture any person because they should have the rights mentioned above as any individual imprisoned in our country. According to Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution is one of the key individual rights which is protected by the Constitution. This section contains the right known as Habeas corpus. “Habeas corpus requires an authority to prove to a court why it has a cause to hold someone.” (Mount) Although prisoners may not have full constitutional rights it does not give the United States the right to torture and degrade detainees for the purpose of extracting valuable information which is viewed as being in the interest of this country’s fight against terrorism. The prisoners have the right to be held humanely and not discriminated against because of why they are being held, and the United States should abide by what the law states by the Constitution. When the United States held detainees in U.S. prisons without charging them, tortured them and did not grant them parole the constitutional rights of these individual were violated. The media has clearly reported individuals being imprisoned as suspected terrorist. These individuals were not charged with crimes, were not brought to trial and thus had no chance at parole. Under the guise of the Patriot Act the United States government has also engaged in the previously viewed illegal activity of the wiretapping private citizens phones without warrants or other legal processes and this was not just in regards to individuals they suspected of terrorism, but on all citizens of the United States. This not only took away the privacy...
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