Fighting words: Is using torture to get information inhumane?

Of Course it isn’t

 

Daniel Malgren
Daniel Malgren, Editor In Chief 

Torturing is inhumane?

Well, your conservative outcry is torturing my poor nerves, so please, stop. It’s inhumane.

Of course, prisoners should be tortured. If they don’t give us what we want, why else would we keep them around?  I find it rather odd that we would spend our tax dollars just to give them a brief massage and a pat on the back.  Silly Americans, get on the band wagon. Everybody else is doing it.

I personally am not the biggest fan of cutting out a tongue or removing a few teeth. Thankfully there are far cleaner methods to break an individual’s resolve.  Why would I ever propose such an atrocity? Because I am a sick minded, psychopath whose greatest joy is watching conservatives cringe.

Whether it’s humane or not, torture happens all the time. Yes, it even happens in America, but of course, Capitol Hill would never tell you that. Silly Americans, to think that the government would tell you anything is such innocence.

Torture is centuries old and has been proven to be the fastest method to get information second to Google Chrome, (yes it runs faster than Firefox, Yahoo and Bing).   It’s true, that torture does tend to lag depending on how much information you are looking up, but it’s not overly difficult to speed up the process with a little persuasion.  The plus side of torture is that the information tends to be facts that can’t be found anywhere else on the Internet, and it’s relatively free.  You won’t find a better bargain, even from Comcast.

The fact of the matter is that torture can save lives; war can save lives and so can terrorism.  All of these actions are equally, “inhumane,” but we proceed to follow through with these actions when there is a larger picture hanging on the wall of our conscious.

The majority of the human population doesn’t take pleasure in the harming of other humans because many of us have never been put in a scenario where we would ever desire to harm someone.

Yet, under pressure, would we act any different?  If the situation were dire, would you not torture the culprit to save your spouse? Your child? A family member?

We look at the world through a black and white filter.  This is wrong, and this is right.  We unjustly accuse the means without ever placing our shoes in ones feet.  We hear the word torture and instantly our minds lock themselves into a box.

“It’s cruel!”

“It’s inhumane!”

Yet each and every one of us would tear the skin off the stranger walking past us if the stakes were high enough.  At a glance, torture may be inhumane, but tell yourself that when your child’s captor or the murderer of your spouse is in your grasp.  Will you really think within the realms of “humanity” when your emotional balance is taxed to the limit?  Humanity is not a defined on a broad spectrum.  It’s a definition we create for ourselves based around the action, we are inspired to do, for good or for ill.

We are so quick to justify our own actions, yet cringe when someone else commits the same crime.  I recall a member in my family saying it was good that the government authorized the torture of captured terrorists during Presidents Bushes, “War on Terror.” Yet when the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria tortured its prisoners, that same family member of mine prayed for those suffering at the hands of ISIS.

Those who claim that torturing is wrong are nothing more than hypocrites who lack the knowledge, experience or conviction to admit that they would commit that same crime under specific circumstances.

When it comes down to the heart of this debate it’s not whether torture is right or wrong.  It’s a debate of what it means to be human. Torture is labeled as inhumane by society, yet all of us have our breaking point. All of us have something we would kill for. The real question here is, are we human?

Perhaps not.

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It’s definitely inhumane

Amber Gilliland
Amber Gilliland, Special Assignments Reporter

When it comes to keeping people safe in times of war, information can be an important weapon. Yet torture as a method to obtain this information should never be justified. It’s unethical and violates basic human rights.

Suspected terrorists are just that; suspected. In this country, we’re innocent until proven guilty. So why are we torturing people when it hasn’t been proven that they’ve done anything wrong? Some may say that if the suspected person isn’t an American citizen, we’re under no obligation to treat them as such. Just because someone doesn’t have a U.S. birth certificate doesn’t mean that they should lose all sense of humanity.

It isn’t ethical to detain suspects without proof of wrongdoing. Just because a person is of a certain race or religion, the government can suspect them of terrorism because they are the U.S. government. If someone calls and reports another of suspected terrorism, are they going to be hauled off and water boarded? If this is the case, we’re going to have another Red Scare or Salem Witch Trial situation on our hands.

Here in America, we’re safe from cruel and unusual punishment. In my eyes, actions such as water boarding, sleep deprivation and starvation fall under this category. If the suspect is not American, some people are okay with turning the other cheek. I, however, am not. People deserve to have basic human rights and torturing someone violates those rights.

There are laws in this country to protect animals from this sort of treatment. A person could serve time in jail for torturing innocent little ‘Fluffy’. Our government shouldn’t be allowed to treat human beings that way, either.

The government is supposed to be the representation of the people.  We should be represented as a country that feels it’s okay to beat the life out of potentially innocent people.

Imagine if the situation was reversed. If American citizens were being detained in a foreign country and being tortured, people would be up in arms. If U.S. police were treating citizens this way, it would be considered police brutality. Yet, if a person is suspected of being a threat to the U.S., some people think that it becomes acceptable to torture others into submission. It’s hypocritical.

Another reason this should not be allowed is because it’s hard to draw the line of when to stop. How much torture is too much torture? One person’s idea of a maximum level could be another person’s minimum. If water boarding doesn’t work, do you try beating them, branding them or starving them until they are walking skeletons?

If the suspect does cooperate, there is no guarantee that what they said is even correct. They could just be lying to stop the torture or prevent it from starting in the first place. Information from a water boarded walking skeleton doesn’t seem like very reliable information in my opinion.

What do we do with the suspect if they do cooperate? Are we supposed to just let them go? They did what we wanted them to do, whether or not the information they gave is true. If they hadn’t been planning an act of terrorism before, they may be pissed off enough now to. We could just be adding to the problem by torturing someone who had no intentions of torturing us.

There has to be a better way that the government can obtain information that doesn’t require us to abandon all sense of our morals.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Fighting words: Is using torture to get information inhumane?

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