Imagine, you have a terrorist in custody, and this terrorist knows the location of a bomb that will detonate and end thousands of American lives, is it ethically justified to torture this terrorist in order to obtain the critical intelligence needed to locate and disarm the bomb, saving thousands of lives? This is a scenario called the ticking time bomb scenario, it may be an extreme scenario, but none the less, it is possible, would you let ethics get in the way of saving those people’s lives? This is a very shadowy corner of the human psyche, there is no black and white when it comes to situations like this, only endless shades of grey that bleed into each other endlessly. Many people’s idea of torture is inflicting devastating bodily harm on a person’s body, and that is what the dictionary says it is, but in these modern times, the main element of political torture is the presence of fear, no bodily harm is necessary in some cases. The most commonly used method of torture is water boarding, which simulates drowning, and has been a key element in preventing insurgent operations. Many people argue that torture yields faulty or incomplete intelligence, but there are documented situations where torture has aided in saving lives. This is only my opinion, torture is made illegal to POW's, medical personnel, and any others captured by a hostile country by the Geneva Convention, but as we have seen by Kristian Menchaca and Thomas Tucker, our enemies don't care. How far would you go to save a life?
There are plenty of forms of torture that leave no physical scars, there is psychological torture which is threatening to kill ones family, or falsely claiming that one’s terror cell leader is dead. There is sensory deprivation, which was used in Guantanamo, which is when you bind, blindfold, and earmuff prisoners for extended periods of time. Starvation and thirst, which is when a prisoner is given just enough food and water, unpleasant food and water if I might...
Cited: 1. Head, Tom. American Torture Techniques. Ed. Mike Zane. N.p., 11 Mar. 2012. Web. 11 July 2012. <http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/p/torturelite.htm>.
2. Seales, Rebecca. What We Did Saved American Lives. Ed. Rebecca Seales. N.p., 27 Apr. 2012. Web. 11 July 2012. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2135981/What-did-saved-American-lives-Ex-CIA-chief-defends-waterboarding-al-Qaeda-leader.html>.
3. Joyner, James. U.S. Soldiers Beheaded By Al-Quaeda. Ed. James Joyner. N.p., 10 July 2006. Web. 11 July 2012. <http://www.outsidethebeltway.com/beheading_desecration_video_of_dead_us_soldiers_released_on_internet_by_al_qaeda_videoimages/>.
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