I had a very long and interesting conversation about torture, the death penalty, and radical Islamic terrorists the other night...I'm finally getting around the post about it; thank goodness for Easter Break.
I have a close friend with whom I argue for the sake of arguing on what amounts to a daily basis. On this particular occasion, one of my house mates and I were discussing the legitimacy of US "torture" on the terrorists they had captured when my friend chimed in and vehemently condemned any torture of any kind. He argued that as human beings, even the terrorists had inalienable rights (life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness? heh) that we have no right to take away from them. I did (and will continue to) put forth this argument: When men or women act inhumanely and without responsibility towards the rights of others, they give up their own rights as human beings.
No one will ever be able to convince me under any circumstances that Timothy McVeigh, Saddamn Hussein, or Osama bin-Laden had (or have?) a right to live. These men acted with the sole purpose of killing hundreds to thousands of innocent men, women, and children. They have forfeited their rights as human beings.
The torture we use to obtain information from terrorist detainees will not kill them. We do not shove bamboo into their finger nails. Waterboarding (which I do believe happens at Gitmo, despite what our fearless leaders say) can cause death, but hasn't resulted in any that we've heard of...and yes, I do think we'd hear about it eventually.
Many people, including my friend, say torture doesn't work because you can't rely on the information that comes from it...but I disagree...Don't you think that eventually if we got bad information again and again they would stop using torture as a means to obtain intelligence? The reason "torture" is used is because it does work.
And, just so that no legitimate comparisons can be drawn between US torture and the beheadings, etc. of the US and Allied Forces by the Islamic terrorists: There is a difference between us and them, and there's no denying it. We fight to make peace and prevent mass murder. They fight to kill us...all of us. When we harm or coerce others for information, we're doing it to save others. The terrorists capture civilians and gruesomely kill them in cold blood to maximize the body count in order to get civilians back on US soil riled up enough to fight against the war at home.
There has got to be some objectivity. You cannot just say, "We fight for freedom, and that's how they feel too, so everyone's right (...or no one is)." For better or worse, there are evil men and women on this planet who have to be kept in check or killed by any means necessary. And as long as we're not intentionally blowing up hospitals , Universities , and neighborhoods , I'm behind our government one hundred percent.
150 years ago today: The End
3 years ago