The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
0 Points

Torture is a practice that should be avoided by the US.

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,486 times Debate No: 88509
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (4)
Votes (1)




Hello, this is my first debate outside of tournaments. Please give me feedback if possible. Also, any way you want to format your speech is fine, just make it legible and sensible. Thank you.
I hereby affirm that torture should be avoided by the US for the following reasons.
C1: Ineffectiveness
Torture is absolutely not producing the results we want in the status quo. A US Senate report on the CIA's advanced interrogation practices have shown that out of 39 detainees that were subjected to the advanced interrogation practices, seven produced no information while in custody. Also, we must note the lack of factual information within these practices. The US Senate report continues to say that often detainees would fabricate information to avoid the torture practices, which included the CIA's highest priorities in terrorism. What this means is that we could actually slow down our ability to target the international problem of terrorism, since we receive faulty information from the people we interrogate. This also means that the justification of torture being an effective way to get information is clearly false. according to an International Business Times article published on December 9, 2014, torture actually strengthens the will of the person being tortured, leading to the detainees resisting. The entire belief behind many terrorist organization is that the United States is spreading influence through evil means. This means by torturing and subjecting the suspects to inhumane torture justifies the detainee's reason for being a part of a terrorist organization. Thus, we play into the hand of the enemy by strengthening the unity shared by the group. So, to prevent the horrendous misinformation and ineffectiveness in our information system, let us affirm.
C2: Torture can be easily used as a recruitment mechanism
The Taliban regularly uses Guantanamo Bay's torture programs as a recruitment mechanism by painting the US as a harmful Western influence. According to The Atlantic in 2013, A magazine created by Al Qaeda used the Guantanamo Bay issue in their magazine "Inspire" to show how the US has treated the people in the prison in a distasteful way. The magazine then urges people to join the Jihad. Of course, there are obvious problems here. Notably, the fact that continued torture has become a danger to national security by strengthening the resolve of the terrorist organizations. John Brennan, who was the director of the CIA in 2013 backs up my statement by saying that our nation will be safer once Guantanamo Bay is closed. Considering the current recruitment of ISIS members on social media, we see that this form of propaganda and anti-American ideals can be fostered in the minds of people who will then rebel against the great nation. To prevent more people joining an already powerful force of people whose intent is to take down the United States, let us affirm.
C3: Harming innocent people
It is not always the guilty part within the chambers of Guantanamo, in fact, it is more likely than you probably think that their are innocent people who are subjected to the inhumane practice of torture everyday. According the the US Senate Report on the CIA's advanced interrogation program, 26 of the detainees in Guantanamo were falsely detained and subjected to the common torture techniques. Not only is this number considered a conservative guess according to the New York Times in 2014 by many human rights groups, but it also shows how dangerously close we are to becoming a paranoid nation. Yes, we have a reason to be afraid, no, we don't torture people who are innocent for information they cannot have. Also, I would like to note that there are more detainees who are simply considered unable to be prosecuted due to lack of evidence, and that only six prisoners in Guantanamo Bay are actually facing charges for crimes, according to The Atlantic in 2013. We need to act now to salvage our information gathering system, so let us affirm.
In recap, we are torturing innocent people, to get faulty information, which will then lead to more people being recruited by Al Qaeda. The system of torture in the status quo is clearly flawed and alternative measures for information gathering need to be researched and used to prevent the abuses and general incompetence of the system, such as using peaceful means of interrogation and offering help to the detainee. Ergo, vote affirmative to realize the broken system.


Note: After this offer your constructive argument building your case, and then we will do rebuttals, and then finally final statements.


Hello, I apoligize in advance if my english is bad, as its not my first language. I'm hope it is good. I hope to have good and civil debate. I think torture neccasary in some cases. First off, if tortured person did something bad, they deserve it. You say out of 39 people 7 did not provide any information at all. the other 32 provided information, which is the majority. Now, faulty information is a problem, but most want to get it over with and will just tell the truth. The majority of totured people will provide information and tell truth, so it is working at least some. I do not condone innocent people being tortured. think that the govorment should stop taking people and torturing them when they are probably innocent. However I do think that taking someone and asking them some questions fine. Without torture, people would not be forced to give up information. as there would be no punishment for not saying anything. Even if information wrong, I think it better than no information at all. Again i am sorry for my english.
Debate Round No. 1


Before I begin, thank you for taking this debate on such a short notice. Also, do not worry about your grammar. Without further ado, my rebuttal
First, I should probably reiterate the statistic I used. Yes, I will concede that a majority of people in the statistic I used had shown that 32 people did in fact tell some sort of information to the the CIA after the torture was administered; however, I also stated that a lot of the information we get from torture is fabricated. You try to respond to this claim by stating that faulty information is better than no information, unfortunately, this could not be farther from the truth With fabricated information, it is impossible to further our fight against terror. Also, your attempt at refuting the faulty information point, while seemingly logical, falls once it is realized that when you are being tortured, you may not have the information that the CIA wants, so fabricating information would not only solve the predicament, but ruin our information system. Also, I provide evidence on the contrary which you lack.
Second, you never mentioned my propaganda recruitment point that I used in my second contention. If our torture program is used for propaganda to recruit terrorists into organizations, we can see our national interests at risk. After all, with more people joining terrorist organizations, we see more people we are fighting against over in Syria, and we see more unity and prowess in fighting forces such as ISIS, the Taliban, and Al Qaeda. With recruitment processes already being a problem in the status quo, we don't need to add on to the problem.
Finally, I would like to suggest an alternative to torture that may give us the information we need, with very few consequences. We can expand our military presence in Syria for purposes such as information retrieval and look toward defectors from terrorist groups to tell us information.
As clearly shown , the pro side has clearly won due to it's arguments being extended and the con has nothing to stand on, thank you.

Note: Your English isn't actually that bad, don't worry, and good luck.


Hi, I am happy that my English is not bad.

First off, I want to address what you said about faulty information being better than no information. You say that it is not true that faulty information is better. You do not say why no information is better. The US can not get any progress on ending terrorism with no information either. Faulty information is more useful because at least they have a lead.

Now onto what you say about the torture being used to recruit people for the terrorist groups. I think that torturing is discouraging people to join these groups because if you can be tortured if it is found out that you in one of the groups. You did not mention what I said about torture being the only good way to get information. If people are not being punish for not giving information, why would the give any?

I would now like to address your alternative. I don't think that the alternative would be as effective as torture, because it would be much slower.

Lastly, I think that torture should be continued with changes. The torture doesn't have to be as brutal. Lighter torture might get more information out of people because they are not in intense pain. I also think that the US should stop killing the detainees if they don't get any information. They should keep trying to get information.

That's all I have to say, good luck!

Debate Round No. 2


Before I start, I would like to thank my opponent as we approach the end of this debate.
First, I would like to go over your point about faulty information being better than no information. I can explain why faulty information is worse due to the fact that with faulty information, we slow down our ability to respond to actual terrorist threats, since we are using our manpower and resources elsewhere based on faulty information. We can see an example of this on an American Prospect article in 2014. The article shows how Majid Khan gave a false report to the CIA to avoid more enhanced interrogation, which involved being slammed against a wall and waterboarded. This is only one of many examples, that regardless if the CIA counts as true or not, has come to light in the past few years. As stated previously treats all information equally, The group would look into matters that did not need being looked into, wasting time and manpower which could be spent actually countering terrorist threats.
Secondly, you claim that torture actually deters terrorists from joining groups, but this is clearly shown to be untrue. I have shown evidence to the contrary, but I will explain the reasoning behind my claim. Terrorists are bound by anti-American sentiment in most cases and are convinced that the US is a destructive and terrible force in the Middle East and elsewhere. By torturing the detainees, we are only proving what the terrorists are told, that the US is an evil country that tortures people. Multiple magazines created by terrorist groups, such as "Inspire" by Al Qaeda, have shown Guantanamo Bay and torture in general to convince people that the US is dangerous and needs to be stopped. My first speech had the evidence in the sources listed if you are interested. Also, you claim that punishment is the only way to get information out of people, but what about trying to get the detainee on our side? We could offer them help and reach out to them, which may convince them of helping the US as opposed to the terrorist organization they previously joined. This is because we prove to them that we are not the intrusive, evil government that the terrorists brainwash them to believe, we prove we can compromise and help.
I will now address your third point. I already offered a faster alternative in the previous paragraph, but I will still hold my position that expanding our pool of information to other countries would definitely help our ability to locate terrorist bases of operations and foil some terrorist plots.
Finally, I will show the problem with even light torture. There is no proof that light torture would be anywhere near as effective as simply compromising with the suspects. You offer no sources to show how your alternative works better than the ones I proposed.
The clear answer is an affirmative vote, thank you.
Good luck!


Hatman123 forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
Conduct to Pro since Con forfeited last round. Pro argues that torture is ineffective in getting information, and producing accurate information. Con responds to this by saying the majority of interogees provide accurate information, and that faulty information is better than no information at all. Pro responds that faulty information is worse to no information at all since it would hurt the war on terror, and worsen the situation. Con responds that it at least gives us a lead, Pro responds that we are wasting men and resources, Pro wins the point. Pro also argues that this strengthens extremist groups by justifying their work, and in turn gaining recruits. Con drops this argument until R2, when he says that it deters people because if they join they will be tortured. Pro responds by giving evidence of extremist propaganda trying to recruit on the American"s evil, thus proving this point true. Pro also argues that many people that are tortured are innocent. Con concedes this. Con argues that people who are tortured are bad, thus deserve it. This is bare assertion fallacy, thus I can't count it. In the end, Con failed to negate any of Pro's arguments, and Con only brought up one argument, which was a bare assertion, thus Pro's arguments outweigh Con's, and Pro wins.
Posted by Hayd 2 years ago
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Posted by Gareth_BM 2 years ago
I would like to point out that the use of torture invalidates any attempts for the US to get involved in so called humanitarian interventions. If the US can't ensure that it doesn't break international law then it has no right to enforce it therefor to ensure that that the US can operate in the interest of all if has to avoid torture. Further more if it does torture people that is handing it's enemies propaganda material and drawing out the conflicts it is in.
Posted by Gareth_BM 2 years ago
I would like to point out that the use of torture invalidates any attempts for the US to get involved in so called humanitarian interventions. If the US can't ensure that it doesn't break international law then it has no right to enforce it therefor to ensure that that the US can operate in the interest of all if has to avoid torture. Further more if it does torture people that is handing it's enemies propaganda material and drawing out the conflicts it is in.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by Hayd 2 years ago
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: rfd in comments