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Torture And Ethics Essay

1616 words - 7 pages

Torture and Ethics Paper
Alfreepha Williams
AJS/532
July 21, 2013
Patricia DeAngelis

Torture and Ethics
There are many views or definition of the word “torture”, which is often debated by many individuals. According to “International Rehabilitation Council For Torture Victims” (2005-2012), “torture is an act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining information or a confession, punishing him for an act committed” (para. 2). “Torture is anguish of body or mind; something that causes agony or pain; the infliction of intense pain (from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford ...view middle of the document...

Studies show that the Unites States have violated both domestic and international prohibition of torturing enemy combatants in the fight of terrorism since 9/11. The use of torture is considered illegal in the United States; however according to “Amnesty International” (2013), “The Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel produced a series of “torture memos,” that mutilated the law so as to restrict the definition of CID and to make certain torture practices seem legal under United States law” (para. 6). The Attorney General’s Office of Legal Counsel concluded that torture of any enemy combatant is intense pain the causes physical injury, such as the inability of bodily function, organ failure, or death; however anything below is only considered cruel, degrading, or inhumane treatment that does not constitute a punishable offense (Center for Constitutional Rights,” n.d.). According to this statement, in the American society, it is acceptable to torture an enemy combatant just as long as it does not lead to death or permanent inability of different bodily function.
No one will ever forget September 11, 2011, when Al Qaeda launched an attack on U.S. soil, which caused the death of nearly 3,000 American citizens. The attacks of terrorists on the American society undoubtedly constituted an act of war. The Bush administration then took action declaring the “War on Terror,” that would involve using laws and procedures not applied during a time of peace. In other words using any technique deemed necessary to get answers about the attack would be used including the torturing of enemy combatants. According to “Center for Constitutional Rights” (n.d.), “Since January 2002, the Bush Administration has justified the maltreatment of prisoners of the “war on terror” because the detainees are unlawful enemy combatants not guaranteed the rights dictated in the Geneva Conventions or U.S. law” (para. 7). There is, however, mixed views in the American society on the issues of torture against enemy combatant. Although the law of the American society is against the technique of torture, it also constitutes that it is acceptable just as long as it does not cause permanent damage to that person and the result is saving the lives of many. Meaning in an American free society, torturing an enemy combatant or high value target only violates the standards of morality unless it causes permanent harm, such as death or the inability to function as a normal human being.
Torture and Global Implications
Torturing of detainees or human beings has been prohibited as an international law; however there are many who use this method regardless. Globally, the torture of any detainee in any country is banned and considered cruel and inhumane. According to “Physicians for Human Rights” (2011), “Despite the absolute prohibition of torture in international law, it continues to be practiced in more than 100 countries, from totalitarian regimes to democracies. Countries frequently...

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