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The Use of Torture in Interrogation - Essay Example

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Name Instructor Course Date The Use of Torture in Interrogation Torture means the infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering intentionally by public official on a person in order to obtain from him, or third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he has committed, or intimidating him or other persons (Peters 40)…
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The Use of Torture in Interrogation
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Download file to see previous pages Law enforcement agencies are sometimes forced to inflict torture on suspects in order to retrieve trial information from them. The information that suspects may be hiding could be exceptionally vital in saving the lives of citizens. Therefore, law torture should be used in circumstances when law enforcement agents are seeking vital information from suspects; information that is likely to save the lives of the general public. McCain is one of the prominent people in the U.S who have vehemently opposed the use of torture during interrogation. McCain might be justified to push for legislations that illegalize the use of torture because he underwent torturous moments when he participated in the Vietnamese war. However, the debate on whether to legalize or illegalize the use of torture should not be discussed from the perspective of individuals past experiences. Taking such as perspective might make emotions cloud people’s judgment and limit sound decision making on the matter. According to Krauthammer, the debate would be healthy if the three kinds of war prisoners are brought into the picture. Krauthammer argues that for the purpose of torture and prisoner maltreatment, three kinds of war prisoners exist. The first category involves an ordinary solder caught on the field of battle (Krauthammer). This situation does not amount to exceptional circumstances that permit the use of torture for interrogation. Krauthammer indicates that the detention of such a soldier is for one sole purpose; “to keep him hors de combat”. Furthermore, if there is another just way of keeping such a prisoner away from the battle field, it should be employed. Krauthammer argues that because the main reason of keeping such a prisoner under those circumstances is to prevent him from becoming a commandant again, and he deserves all the protections and dignity of an ordinary domestic prisoner. Torturing such a prisoner would be inhumane, and it is not necessary. The second category involves a captured terrorist. By definition, a terrorist is an unlawful combatant. Krauthammer argues that “a terrorist lives outside the laws of war because he does not wear a uniform; he hides amongst civilians and targets the innocent” (Krauthammer. Such a terrorist is not entitled to protection at all. When the third category of the terrorist is mentioned, the discussion on torture becomes complicated. Consider a circumstance where by the captured terrorist has information on a bomb that has been planted in a city, and the bomb might go off in an hour’s time. Most probably, the lives of one million people are in danger. These are the exceptional circumstances where torture needs to be applied in order to secure the lives of civilians. In case the suspect has vital information, and he is unwilling to cooperate, then acts of morality and humanity become dependent on the ultimate goal; to save the lives of civilians. It would be logical to use torture and retrieve the much need information so as to save the endangered population. Krauthammer notes “the complications reflect precisely the dilemmas regarding all coercive interrogation, the weighing of the lesser of two evils: the undeniable inhumanity of torture versus the abdication of the duty to protect the victims of a potentially preventable mass murder”. Zandt argues that the overriding public safety becomes a priority when compared to the prisoner’ ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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