|A Pace Odyssey||
Torture-- is it justified in certain situations, such as matters of national security, or is the act too cruel to justify the means? This intense method of extracting information has been around since the dark ages, and continues to influence society today. Though multiple countries (194, to be exact) have 'banned' torture of any kind, it still takes place behind closed doors. An age long debate continues-- are there circumstances in which torture is justified, or is it always unethical?
Here is one side of the story: torture is pointless and will ultimately get us nowhere. Of course, the various brutal methods do get people to talk, but are the spewed confessions accurate? Not usually. In fact, "After more than five years analyzing 6.3 million pages of documents, they found that the CIA’s enhanced use of interrogation techniques were ineffective in obtaining accurate information or gaining detainee cooperation." Much of the gained information resulting from long standing torture methods are inaccurate and result in more hassle than help. Next begs the question of how much torture is moral, if it ever is. A slippery slope to go down. How should one determine when to stop? When the captive is dead, or are there boundaries--who gets to decide when enough is enough? Also, who could live with the repercussions brought upon the interrogator, lawfully or mentally? Finally, the use of torture actually tarnishes the government's reputation. Forcefully interrogating any person violates their right to remain silent, which every citizen has, and ultimately demotes the 'good guys' down to the social standings of the very criminals they are holding.
The other side: torture is necessary to gain crucial information, and should be allowed to practice. There are certain circumstances in which torture is the only available methods to extract time-sensitive information. These scenarios are called "ticking bombs," in which crucial feedback is needed in a specific-- usually very short-- time period. How else to gain this information? Torture may be old-fashioned, but it is still quite effective. We all know the phrase 'all is fair in love and war,' which happens to be true for this topic. Countless prisoners of war are tortured in the hands of our enemies, and there are training sessions in our own military to help prepare soldiers for that very situation. Our own prisoners of war have been tortured here in the U.S., so we are not exempt. Then, there is the case of torture simply being in the culture. Countries such as Al Qaeda and Vietnam are known for their use of torture as a commonplace method. Can we blame them for following their own government's rules?
What do you think? Is torture justified in any circumstances, or is it inexcusable?