A Speech I Wrote for School

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As long ago as 1864, countries sent representatives to Geneva, Switzerland to discuss the treatment of military personnel as well as civilians in wartime. Throught history “rules of war have been formulated with 3 additional conventions. In the time between 1864 and 2005 192 countries have ratified the laws. Torture should be prohibited against suspected terrorists and war criminals because it is against the law, inhumane, and will give the US a bad name for years to come.

First, torture is against the law. The Geneva Conventions state that during wartime no wounded or captured military personnel and civilians may be subjected to torture in any way. Nearly all the countries have ratified the Geneva Conventions so they are considered customary international law. There is no need for torture because you cannot inflict physical or mental pain on purpose. It states this in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Article 5 states that “No one shall be subjected to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment.” This simply states that no suspect can be subject to torture in any way. There have been numerous other documents that have raised the same issues.

Second, torture is inhumane. The Abu Ghraib Scandal is a perfect example of torture. In May 2004 there were many accounts of torture in the jail in Baghdad. The torture was so inhumane that I cannot go into further detail about the type of torture used. This went against the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. All of American citizens were so shocked when they herd the excruciating pain that the prisoners went through. The situation gets worse. Our government covered it up.

There are many types of torture. The most severe is Water Boarding. It is when a prisoner is bound to an inclined board, feet raised head slightly below feet then Cellophane is wrapped over face of prisoner and water is poured over him. Gag reflex kicks in and a terrifying fear of drowning brings them to an almost instant plea to stop. "The person believes they are being killed, and as such, it really amounts to a mock execution, which is illegal under international law," said John Sifton of Human Rights Watch. "Bad interrogation. I mean you can get anyone to confess to anything if the torture's bad enough," said former CIA officer Bob Baer. There are many more cruel types of torture, all cruel and inhumane.

Third this will give the US a bad name for years to come. Everything in history is documented. The torture that we are using is going to be documented and for years to come will be taught to the point where other countries will view us as bullies. It will hurt our citizens for years to come. As we continue torturing people the count of terrorists will rise, not decrease. In the United States we cannot bring this information gathered to a courtroom because it is fabricated, or created, confession. Then the suspect went through the pain and suffering for no apparent reason.

Some people say that we must use torture. They say this because they think that is you want to get information NOW that it is the only way. They also say that in the Military Commissions Act of 2006 the President gave the CIA the right to use torture. But they have no clue what they are talking about. This is against the law and is inhumane.

Others don’t even think it is happening. They are oblivious. Did they not look in the news in 2004 when pictures of abuse were released from The Baghdad jail? Or they listen to President Bush’s Military Commissions Act of 2006 where he stated, “As I've said before, the United States does not torture. It's against our laws and it's against our values.” But he has lied! We have used torture and so it is not against our values and laws. Especially when recently President Bush vetoed a law restricting torture. This raises issues that go against what President Bush said in 2006 and now we need torture when before we didn’t use it because it is against our values.

In Conclusion, Torture should be stopped because it is against the law, inhumane, and will give us a bad name for years to come. We all must do something to stop it. Share with your friends and make the President relies that it is still happening and he must put a stop to it. One of the ways we can is to stop the permitting of allowing under trained and low ranking military personnel the right to engage unsupervised interrogations of suspected terrorists and captives of war.





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