Sunday, December 03, 2006

Is torture "sometimes" okay?

Below is my comment to Dr. D’s post on “When is a CIA blunder worth American justice?” I’m posting it separately because it is a controversial topic that I want to get more opinions on from others in the class before the post goes into the archives.

This comes back to our class argument about whether torture is okay sometimes. In class, there were good arguments made by both sides. If you say that it is “sometimes” okay, that would almost justify Masri’s case if the CIA could produce evidence that they had enough suspicion to detain and torture him. I do not doubt that torture of any sort is a human rights abuse. I even feel that torture of a known mass murder is wrong, because at the end of the day, he is still human. If someone is a threat to society, he can be imprisoned, but he still deserves to be treated humanely. Keepers of justice should never bring themselves down to the level of the criminals – something that is prevalent in justice systems throughout the world today, unfortunately.

Anyone who would read this article would be sympathetic towards Masri. If we were in his position – after all, he is as innocent as any of us – we would be outraged at the CIA and US justice system. They have no right to torture and degrade us in such a humiliating and completely unnecessary manner; however, are the “mistakes” worth it if a terrorist is found every once in a while using this system? Well if I was in Masri’s shoes, the answer would be an immediate “no!” Of course not. If you take a step back and look at the situation from the cushioned, leather chair of a top politician, the answer may “depend.” Ensuring security for all will inevitably lead to a few “mistakes” along the way, but “the end will justify the means.”

As for me, I am just left confused. I feel as though I need to study the work of the CIA, their effectiveness, and other alternatives to make a decision on this topic. I feel there is a lot more under the surface that needs to be considered in this complicated issue before I can effectively argue one side or the other. Our class debate was like the blind fighting the blind with no quality arguments (in my opinion) being brought up by either side. It would be interesting to see how the arguments would change after rigorous investigation of the topic.

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