Terrorism and Torture

Posted: October 17th, 2013

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Terrorism and Torture

Arguments against:

            Torture is duress that rarely results to any valuable information. Torturing a terrorist suspect can nullify the suspect’s confession. Therefore, the evidence obtained cannot be used in court. It may result to false leads that may disrupt current investigations when the suspect gives up false information just too satisfy the interrogator. Continuous torture of a terrorist by an interrogator who is certain that the terrorist holds valuable information may lead to the terrorist’s death. This turns out to be a loss since the only person that could provide information is dead. It also slows down the investigation. Therefore, when an interrogator is certain that a suspect knows about a terrorist attack, it is advisable to use other techniques that do not cause severe pain or suffering whether physical or mental to the suspect. In some cases, valuable information received through torture is not used. This is because if anything was learned about the acquisition such information, the parties involved in the torture could be answerable in court. This makes the information received not be of use or rather not believed. Torture also has a negative impact on the international perception. Few people will care about a country known to torture suspects when terror groups torture and killed their victims.

Arguments for:

            In the outbreak of a national terrorist attack that is likely to end the lives of many people, it is unrealistic to assume that torturing a suspect to save the lives of many will be denying the person a right to life. A right of many people to life is more important than the right of one person. Torturing enables access of the valuable information fast. It may provide information about a future terrorist attack in time enabling the targeted country to prepare for an attack in time. Many people believe that terrorists should get extra punishment for the many lives they cause. Torture provides this additional punishment. When a terrorist refuses to disclose valuable information or all the information needed, torture is the only solution to grant this. A tortured suspect may provide the interrogators with information not asked. This kind of information is usually very useful. Torture is more humane compared to terrorism.

My arguments:

            Killing is never right even in cases where the right outweighs the wrong. However, serious terrorism attack possibilities may call for torture. This will save the lives of many people who could die. Torture provides information fast. This is helpful especially in situations where a country is only aware of a possible terrorist attack but not the time it will take place. This will enable provision of the information before the attack. A terrorist does not hold any sympathy for the people and therefore sympathizing with him at the expense of many people’s lives will not be realistic. Conversely, torturing a terrorist may also provide wrong information or in some cases, no information at all. Therefore, other methods that do not constitute torturing can be used. Terrorists are responsible for thousands of lives. A mere torture to save peoples lives is nothing compared to the evil they do. Therefore, if extreme measures have to be taken in order to save innocent peoples lives, so be it.

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