should terrorists really be tortured?
Debate Rounds (3)
You have advanced two arguments:
1. Torturing terrorists can save lives.
2. Terrorists ought not to be covered/protected when it comes to considering the Geneva Conventions because they themselves are violating them.
1. This argument is true, as far as it goes. What is wrong with it is that it does not go very far. Torturing terrorists can also cost lives just as easily. As an example...
" In 2010, Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) released the first issue of Inspire , their English language recruitment magazine. To date, AQAP has released 10 issues of Inspire, and the plight of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay has been featured prominently in several issues.
In the 2010 inaugural issue of Inspire, an essay by Osama bin Laden mentions "the crimes at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo . . . which shook the conscience of humanity." Tellingly, bin Laden points out that "there has been no mentionable change" at Guantanamo and the prison is noted again later in the issue. "
Bin Laden himself speaks of the crimes of Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo. Osama has committed quite a few crimes himself, of course, but this is important because it shows that America's enemies can use the misdeeds we commit to recruit *more terrorists*. Obviously, more terrorists means more dead innocents. We may stop one bombing by torturing, but if our torture of a suspect causes ten more terrorists to be recruited, the life-saving benefits of torture become far less clear. It may easily be that we can save more lives by not torturing than if we do.
2. The Geneva Conventions do not work that way. The Nazis, for example, committed war crimes, but that does not mean that their enemies were free to forget the conventions themselves, though it is true that the conventions as we know them today did not exist until after WWII. Nevertheless, the commission of war crimes by one side has not been established as a sign that your side is now also allowed to commit war crimes.
To sum up,
1. This argument is not effective, and therefore fails, because the idea that torture saves lives is true only to the extent that you ignore other effects that a policy advocating torture carries, such as increased recruiting of terrorists, or possible retaliatory attacks that may occur because someone was tortured.
2. The understanding of the Geneva Conventions advanced by your second argument is not an accurate depiction of how the conventions function.
- The only way to curb this problem is to get terrorists to release valuable information and it seems using physical, mental, sexual or physiological torture methods on a regular basis would be the key.
-We should remember that these people are `aggressive` and that we should also therefore show an `aggressive` attitude towards them. Think about it if we show them mercy and go easy on them they won't understand because they know you won't do much. But if we start from Day One and show them we are mean and there not the boss in this place, and after feeling this they will tell a lot of valuable information.
So...I will assume that you are abandoning your two previous arguments, since you did not defend your Geneva assertions from my rebuttals, and you also seem to be changing tack a bit with your "torture saves lives" argument, changing it somewhat. That's fine, I guess.
Your assertion that a "large majority of people around the world" are scared to go to work because of terrorism is untrue. There are a billion people in China. How many of them are scared to go to work? There's close to a billion people in India. Close to a billion people are afraid of going out in public in India? Doesn't seem like it- the streets are teeming with people over there. People in Europe are all afraid of going to work due to terrorism? In South America? We in this country are among the chief targets of terrorist threats, yet I can tell you that no sizable amount of people in this country are afraid of going out in public.
Terrorists are indeed promoting a foul image of their countrymen, but that in itself is not a reason to torture them. The CIA often promotes a foul image of Americans. Should we torture CIA agents? The soldiers who engaged in detainee abuse at Abu Ghraib made Americans look bad. Should they also be tortured? I don't think so, but that would seem to be the logic of your argument. Diego Maradona made Argentinians look bad during the 1986 soccer match between Argentina and England, but I don't think he should be tortured.
As far as torture being the only way to get terrorists to release information, you realize that even though we have used torture on some individuals, we have not used it on every single detainee, right? Information is still gathered the old fashioned way- through investigation and interrogation (not "enhanced" interrogation either).
Lastly, I have not said that we should go easy on them. We are fighting them, killing them, imprisoning them...this is not what I would call "going easy". The problem with torture is that it makes us look bad, allowing them to recruit more terrorists. But nobody said we should "go easy" on them.
And I'm pretty sure terrorists already think we are mean. That doesn't help, I guess, since you are saying we still need to sexually abuse them in order to get information from them. As I said before, this is nothing but a recruiting tool for them. In fact, if sexual abuse is adopted by our forces as a regular means of getting information, I'll go volunteer for Al Qaeda right now...
layla forfeited this round.
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