I don't understand why People get their panties in a bunch when we torture bad people. We don't torture Joe Schmoe, We torture people that do not deserve to walk the earth. It angers me to see that Americans would rather there be another tragedy rather than to get the information to stop it.
I do believe that torture is justified to extract info, because it could save us millions of lives. I mean what would of happened if we got an Al-Qaeda member and tortured them to find out that they were planning 911? We would have prevented it and those people would still be alive today.
First, it is unethical, inhumane and illegal in democratic jurisdictions and in international law. That aside, it is also irrational. It undermines internal support and fuels support for the adversary. That far outweighs the value of the information that may be gained, if any. This is a mathematical truism. If captives truly had valuable information only accessible via extreme means, that is because it is inconspicuous and its possession cannot be easily identified in people. Thus a large number of suspects need to be captured and tortured in order to find the one that has the info, if any. The odds are thus against it, antagonising more people than what the information is actually worth and the likelihood of attaining it.
The bottom line is that torture doesn't work. The individual being tortured will tell you anything to make you stop. This may produce actionable intelligence, or it may be him just telling you what he thinks you want to hear so you will stop torturing him. Both the scientific literature and people with experience in the matter will tell you that it doesn't work.
Of course they deserve it, but it is not reliable. Have you read about torture? Some people can just lie. Some can tell the so-called truth(i.E. Lie), just to end the torture. However, it is a great way of punishing them, they will think twice, that is if they can think twice.
Even though torture has been proven to work most of the time, I am personally not a fan of this measure being taken and I feel it is immoral. There are better alternatives then resorting to physical/mental violence to get any kind of information out of somebody. Whether how important it is.
Using torture is never a justified form of extracting information. First, it's possible that a person does not actually possess the information for which he or she is tortured. Also, many high level military and members of organizations are trained to die before giving up information. So continued torture just stretches an inevitable outcome. It also only reinforces pre-conceived ideas about the torturers.
With the NSA's massive electronic surveillance network, using torture to extract information from suspects is no longer needed. Torture victims will simply spill false information in order for the torture to stop as opposed to actually revealing needed information. Torture doesn't do anyone any good as it is just a waste of time.
I do not believe torture can be justified, even if it is to extract information. The Geneva Conventions clearly state that torture is not allowed and the US agreed to these conventions. People in our government who allowed it and knowingly allowed it to happen, and also those who performed it, should be charged with war crimes.
Torture should never be justified. We are allegedly living in a civilized society, and though we put on this veneer and even declare the act of torture illegal, we still behave like barbarians behind closed doors and torture people to extract information that not only may not be true, but there may not be any at all - just the senseless harm of another human being.
Torture incites forced information, most of which is probably made up by the receiver on the spur of the moment to avoid torture. If someone is threatening to water-board you, you will give them whatever they want, be it real or fantasy.
So not only is torture utterly inhuman, unethical and needless, it is also probably completely ineffective.
This reminds me of the Salem Witch Trials. If you physically hurt someone and the pain is so intense they will say anything just to make the pain stop. People would blame each other for whatever reasons and they would end up in trial being accused and being forced to admit they were witches.