18 Oct 2022


In Defense of Torture: Why Sometimes It's Necessary

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A man has just planted a bomb in the Central Business District of one of the most populated cities. He is sitting in the custody and gloating of his achievement. He has statistics at hand of how many people will die, injured, and the worth of property about to be destroyed. At this point, the bomb situation can be managed if the man can swallow his pride and give the details. Considering this case, subjecting the culprit to any amount of torture remains the objective measure to save the situation. However, the opponent of torture will restrain such an act and opposed it with any amount of pressure (Torture is Just Means of Preventing Terrorism, 2013). The divergent opinions has culminated into unending debate when it comes to torture, especially in the wake of torture and the American terror wars in the Asian continent. Torture should be defended as long as it is for the protection of the innocent majority. 

The man sitting in custody and delving no information to the authorities is a perfect case of a ‘ticking-bomb.’ While the case can still not convince everyone that torture should be ethically accepted, further aggrandizement should tilt the Grand Inquisitor among many people. In case a conventional explosion cannot change your reasoning, consider a nuclear explosion in the CBD. Before taking your stand on the debate, consider your sister, brother, or daughter being asphyxiated in a nearby store, while the man smiling in the custody is shamelessly smiling. Picture more children in the vicinity who will be mutilated while the man having the key to the situation is sitting and smiling of his accomplishment in custody desk in shackles. Evidently, the consequences of the uncooperative assailant can be too grave, and his culpability and malevolence so transparent, as to stir self-hating moral relativist. 

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Torture may be unavoidable with the growing violent terror activities. Arguably, some tortures committed by United States forces in Iraq and Afghanistan are uncalled for, but the act may not warrant condemning the use of excessive power during interrogations. Again, prints and visual media are filled with cases of war torture, but the circumstances, which led to such torture, are rarely unearthed ( Most Americans Oppose Torture Techniques, 2011). The inquisition into torture situations should be the pillar in determination whether a particular case warranted excessive force. In the case of Abu Ghraib, defending torture turns out to be uncomfortable position, but necessary. Ghraib was travesty who exposed America to a lasting devastation. Again, Ghraib scandal remains one of the US worst foreign policy blunders. It inflamed the Muslim world and eroded the trust of democratic sympathizers. The casual abuse and other forms of unexpected mistreatment of ordinary prisoners have inflamed the atrocities of the law enforcers (Koen, 2013). Scandals such as Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib, have fueled the legislation against cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment of people considered military prisoners. However, these developments still does not counter the ethics of torture of the likes of Osama bin Laden. 

In the act of terrorism or any act of modern warfare, collateral damage is unavoidable. Irrespective how the bombs have been made, or how smart the bombers are, innocent noncombatants will remain the victims of assailant bombing. At any time a bomb drops, the bomber is aware that children innocent civilians will be blinded, paralyzed, disemboweled, children orphaned, and many killed. Bombs also destroy unimagined amount of property. The aftermath of bombing is characterized by stress, mental disability, and economic instability. All these results point to the inhumane nature the bomber carry the lives of the innocents. 

The sure way of eliminating collateral damage is halting wars at any cost. In the current world situation, it will be the ideal Gandhi pacifism approach to the problem. Pacifism demands a lot of bravery and only applicable to limited human conflict range (Torture is Just Means of Preventing Terrorism 2013) . In the situations the approach is deemed inappropriate, it is also becomes flagrantly immoral. In reaction to the Holocaust, Gandhi held that the Jews should have ensured mass suicide to bring the world attention to Hitler’s atrocities. Gandhi approach was viewed as thug approach to wars. 

Considering Gandhi’s method and the collateral damage, it makes no sense to spare one person who holds the key to numerous deaths under any ethical defense. It is unbelievable that the torture of Osama bin Laden brought many human rights groups to their feet, but the children and innocent mothers butchered and rendered non-productive in life did not. The defense against torture is a question of whether we should preserve one life at the expense of many or should kill one to rescue many innocent people. Ideally, one person’s torture cannot be comparable to the lives of hundreds or thousands innocent people. 

In most cases, torture does not amount to permanent injury or death, contrary collateral damage is synonymous with killed or crippled. In essence, torturing an innocent man with the aim of extracting information is incomparable to blowing his limbs in a bomb (Koen 2013). The situation of the bomber or the shooter should be compared to those of his victims for the math to be equated. 

In conclusion, torture should be allowed mechanism if it can help to further curb more violence and protect more lives. While accident of torture is common, these should not be the basis of making it an evil act that should be illegalized. I believe torture is a necessary course in this world of terror. 

Works Cited 

Koen, Yitzhak. Dangers of ‘Just Once’ Tortures Application. International Laws in Action . N.p., 11 Mar. 2010. Web. 26 Nov. 2013 

Most Americans Oppose Torture Techniques (2004). Retrieved February 23, 2011 from http://abcnews.go.com/sections/us/polls/torture_poll_040527.html 

Torture is Just Means of Preventing Terrorism. Securing. Liberty. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Nov. 2013. <http://securingliberty.idebate.org/arguments/torture>. 

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