Torture

By , Everson, WA
Have you ever imagined the choice that has to be made when getting critical information? If you knew you could be a hero and save thousands of Americans but it required using illegal techniques, would you do it? Many Americans have never had to make this choice, and probably never will, but for some reason it is illegal. This topic had been very popular a couple years back and slowly dwindled away, but the recent finding and killing of Osama Bin Laden sparked another big dispute involving whether not torture being illegal was the right choice.

The right choice may not always be the best choice, but sometimes it has to be made. In the Washington Post Charles Krauthammer argues “… there is much to admire in those who refuse on principle ever to take up arms (torture) under any conditions” (Krauthammer). Those who can do this should definitely be honored, but there are times when the honor of saving many lives could be worth more. Torture including water boarding can be very helpful and should be legal in certain situations.

In another of the Washington Post articles, John McCain says, “I know those who approved and employed these practices were dedicated to protecting Americans” (McCain). John McCain said this even though he opposes torture. Nobody is saying that torture should be an everyday activity, but in most cases torture saves more life’s than it kills. In times of crisis torture should not be illegal and you shouldn’t be able to get prosecuted which can now happen. So which one do you choose? Would you rather be known as a dedicated American, or a free American wishing they had done something to save the American lives?

After the law that made torture illegal, Americans believed it was a topic that had been settled once and for all. But the recent finding and killing of terrorist Osama Bin Laden has given the supporters of torture new and legitimate information about torture being a helpful tool. They believe that waterboarding and other forms of torture were used to locate Bin Laden. These recent findings have really sparked the topic again, in a big if not bigger debate about the legalization of torture.
Dick Cheney, former vice president denies that waterboarding is torture and wants it reinstated (Cheney). He also argues that the information that led the U.S. to Bin Laden came from Khalid Mohammed who basically handed out information after being waterboarded. This is important because the killing of this terrorist may have saved thousands of lives, and it happened because of some harsh interrogation. I think many people may change their views on torture once they realize how it could help save and keep America safe.
Staying on the topic of Khalid Mohammed, on the World Net Daily, Patrick Buchanan asks this: “Would it be moral to inflict pain on this beast to force him to reveal what he knows? Positive law prohibits it. However, the higher law, the moral law, the Natural law permits it in extraordinary circumstances… The morality of any act depends on not only its character, but on the circumstances and motive… Even killing is not always wrong. If a U.S. soldier had shot Mohammed to save 50 hostages, he would be an American hero.” (Buchanan)This is an example many Americans will not think about, and they will make excuses for how if you’re a soldier it is different. Also Buchanan makes the point that Civil War doctors who amputated limbs without anesthesia on battlefields inflicted horrible pain. Why? For a higher good. This is the stuff people overlook in their everyday argument, or most times avoid.
There is no good explanation or argument for why torture should be completely illegal. Torture, including water boarding could be very helpful and should be legal in certain situations. We can kill enemies but not torture them? That seems almost like giving the victim a break. Most victims would rather sacrifice their life for their country and not give up information, than be tortured and forced to give up information. So why would we give them what they want? So that we can keep living our lives in fear of another terrorist attack, or even something bigger? Do you have what it takes to do a moral duty?





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