Torture Policy

Free «Torture Policy» Essay Sample

Many ethical debates have emerged regarding torture, and its significance to the society. Most states condemn torture because it is mainly used to humiliate and weaken an individual’s personality and identity by subjecting an individual to a state of fear (Jacoby, 2005). It has been implemented to control the society through feelings of debility, dread, as well as, dependency. There are debates concerning the ethical issues against torture, and a lot of people condemn its value in the society. Furthermore, there are international treaty provisions that ban torture by advocating for efforts to eradicate it through strategies of intervention. Morally, torture should be prohibited, because it disrupts the principle of common humanism that requires individuals to treat each other humanly. Torture is wrong because it corrupts the hearts of those who perpetrate it, and affect the bodies and souls of the victims (Jacoby, 2005).

Prohibited Interrogation Methods

There are certain interrogation methods that are prohibited by law. These methods include the use of force, subjecting an individual to mental torture, exposing an individual to unpleasant and other inhumane conditions of any kind. It is illegal to use force during interrogation. It is a poor method that leads to undesirable results. Furthermore, it may lead to the disruption of subsequent efforts of collecting information and induce the victim to behave in a way that may please the interrogators. Interrogation methods that are allowed include the use of psychological techniques, such as the use of verbal trickery, as well as, other non-violent and non-coercive means used by interrogators to question the hesitant victims. These interrogation techniques are used to serve as guidelines in order to obtain the willing cooperation from a victim. The use of threats during interrogation constitutes a crime that is against the rule of law that may subject the interrogators to prosecution (Mazzetti, and Shane, 2009).

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Larger Problems

Lager problems may arise when the government allows torture of a suspected terrorist in a context where it has already been applied; this may contribute to a routine, as well as, a large scale implementation of the vice. In addition, other countries may emulate the practice, or use the practice with a greater impunity. The authorization of the use of torture may lead to the invalidation of confessions; hence, creating evidences that cannot be applied to the judicial system due to the fact that torture generates falsehoods that can tamper with the ongoing court process. Therefore, there are some drawbacks and benefits that should be considered. In case of torture legalization, some American soldiers would be put at risk. In addition, torture retaliation may lead to loss of many lives, since terrorists would be less sadistic and cause mayhem to many lives of innocent people, and this would lead to capturing American soldiers and torturing them by terrorists. However, the practical weakness in this approach is that the state may be hesitant to prosecute foreigners due to the fear of reciprocal acts that may act against innocent citizens.

International Agreements

There are various international agreements that provide legislation that prohibit torture. This has provided a capacity to ensure a sanctioning response to the act of torture that has been extended to cover the institutions of private law. The international laws consider torture to be a criminal activity; hence there is a need for some changes to control torture through the judicial systems. The United Nations Convention against Torture implements measures that aim at ending torture, within their areas of jurisdiction. This Convention provides that under no circumstance or in no emergency situation torture should be permitted. The United States ratified this Convention by enacting statutes and regulations that prohibit any kind of torture. Furthermore, the convention requires that parties should ensure that acts of torture and any attempt to commit torture or complicity, as well as, participation in torture is investigated as a criminal offence, and should be subjected to penalty. However, it is particularly ironical that the US that claims to promote human rights has been under spotlight for implementing tortures in camps at Guantanamo bay. This has triggered debates on the likelihood of the US signing new international agreements against torture (Wehner, 2007).

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The most notable omission in the US policy is that, according to the federal law, torture is not considered as a distinct crime. This calls for a need to ensure that the US abides by the international legislation against torture. The US will agree to accommodate international inspectors because it is the only way to move forward. This will ensure that the Government leaders and the Pentagon leaders that sanctioned torture t will be held accountable for every act of torture. Since America has signed the international agreements against torture, all the cases regarding torture will be subjected to the International Criminal Court for investigation.

Extra Measures

The international conventions against torture impose upon member states a solemn role to extradite any individual who is alleged to have committed an act of torture, or in a manner that submits the matter to competent personnel with an aim of prosecution (Wehner, 2007). Thus, to prevent any kind of torture, the United Nations should be able to make appeals to nation’s responsibility to shape the behavior of the state officers who commit or allow torture, such as the urgent action by the federal police.


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