Once again shameless politicians have politicized a national security subject for their own political gain. They did so under the pretext that American values disallow certain conduct. They did so with the excuse that this tarnishes American Exceptionalism.
On terrorism and torture. Nothing could be farther from the truth. A nation has the right and the obligation to protect and defend its people from attacks and acts of war against it. Terrorism, whether from within or from abroad is declaration of war against a people. Protecting against such violence, which is committed to kill, injure and instill fear and shock against civilians is the biggest responsibility of a government. These opportunist politicians try to confuse you between a terrorist and a prisoner of war or other types of captives. America is exceptional and has been a force for good. In order to save other innocent lives, if other methods fail, enhanced interrogation methods and torture are completely ethical. Some argue that then we open ourselves to torture against Americans when captured. If an American is committing terrorism against civilians in another country, that country has every right to protect its people by any means. Is anyone arguing that stopping another act of terror by a terrorist with enhanced interrogation methods is wrong ? So are they arguing that the death of further innocent people, after an act of terror is preferable to the harsh treatment of a terrorist, the most vile type of criminal and murderer.These are people who have broken every rule of civilization, murdered, injured, beheaded and bombed people indiscrimately.
Torture should be absolutely forbidden, particularly in a democracy and in a civilized nation.
When one country wins a war and captures prisoners of war, those prisoners should be treated with dignity and humanely. The Geneva convention rules on prisoners of war must be abided by all countries.Unfortunately this is not the case and in many countries political prisoners, opposition leaders, and prisoners of war are subjected to torture.
This is against all human rights and human dignity and must not be tolerated.
There are numerous examples of torture and cruel treatment of prisoners and even murder of war prisoners in World War Two and prior.
The Geneva Convention makes no exceptions for the use of torture. In fact it does not make mention of terrorism. However, it should.
The exception on the rules of conduct in The Geneva Convention should apply to terrorists. Terrorists, when defined properly and clearly, forego the rights afforded to soldiers, captured enemies in war, and all other categories of prisoners. By the very practice of terrorism, those who engage in an act of terror, lose the rights reserved for other humans.
Any civilized people agree that torture is demonic and evil. The same people would agree that terrorism is evil and demonic. It would be an ideal world where terrorism did not exist, but it exists and is committed almost daily.
Laws exist against terrorism and terrorists, however it cannot be banned. This is a fact, an unfortunate fact and people engage in terrorism !
Those who commit terrorism do so with reasons they believe are justified and in some cases noble. Some in the form of suicide bombers are willing to lose their lives, while killing other innocent people. What does a civilized people do with such a person or people.
Most of the idealists, including some political leaders have failed to make the distinction between the terrorist and a prisoner of war or enemy combatant.
They classify them as one and this is completely wrong. In the international community, terrorism has no legally binding criminal law definition.
The crucial distinction that should be made is that a terrorist intentionally targets non combatants, civilians, men, women and children generally in a civilian or non warfare setting and terrorism is sometimes defined as follows:
Criminal acts intended or calculated to provoke a state of terror in the general public, a group of persons or particular persons for political purposes are in any circumstance unjustifiable, whatever the considerations of a political, philosophical, ideological, racial, ethnic, religious or any other nature that may be invoked to justify them.
With this differentiation, in order to save further innocent lives, torture, as distasteful as we all consider it, is justifiable against terrorists. To allow the massacre of the innocent by the terrorist would be unethical, weak and outright immoral.It would be against human rights rather than for it. The most basic human right of all people, any where is to be protected against being innocently blown up or killed.
If a high valued terrorist is caught and enhanced interrogation methods are practiced, under strict surveillance and guidelines, is that not justifiable ?
Is it justified that other innocent unaware citizens will be killed ? Is that a better outcome and more conscionable ?
Finally, what is extremely important here is the definition of terror, terrorism and terrorist. These have to be defined and interpreted in a very narrow and strict manner and not in a broad sense. Some say one man’s terrorist is another man’s hero or “freedom fighter”. This is complete bravado and nonsense, however the definition is even more important and vital considering such points of view.
In conclusion, no human being should ever be subjected to torture of any kind including prisoners of war,political prisoners, enemy combatants or any other category of people.
The only exception to this universal rule should be terrorists, the term being strictly defined and narrowly interpreted. If torture is used, only in the absence of other methods of interrogation and information gathering, it should be under strict guidelines & surveillance with the sole purpose of saving other lives. Torture should never be used as punishment even against terrorists.