Coursework: Torture

In the modern society in which we live, torture is seen as something inhumane and unethical. But there have been many arguments that torture can in fact be necessary in certain circumstances. Say if someone has hostages and these hostages lives are at risk but you have the culprit that kidnapped these innocent people but the culprit will not tell you where he is keeping these hostages. I believe that in a situation such as this, torture is a viable option in to finding out where these people are and saving their lives.

Interrogation is also a time consuming process. Sometimes you will just run out of time by just simply sitting in a room and asking questions and waiting for answers you may never get. An article written in the Huffington post by a man called Sam Harris also talks about how torture should not be seen as just a sadistic way of interrogation. Harris goes on to talk about Abu Ghraib, which was an American overseas detention centre. During the Iraq war in 2003 the USA used torture methods on some off the detainees at this prison. They wanted to find out where the leaders of their opposition were hiding so they could put an end to the war. But the radicals that the USA had in captivity were simply not just going to give up the names of their superiors just like that. In order to get the answers that the USA wanted other means of interrogation had to be used. The USA did use some means of torture to these people they had in custody. This caused uproar between several human rights groups such as amnesty international and many of the US public because the methods used did violate some human rights, but my question is how many human rights would have the people that the USA were looking for broke? The answer is that these people would have broken far more than just the few that the USA broke in order to prevent this. By torturing just a few people to get answers the USA prevented a lot more deaths in the Iraq war.

My point is that I believe torture is necessary in order to save people’s lives, just like the USA did in 2003 at Abu Ghraib. If we go back to my story about the hostages why would you not want a guaranteed way of getting answers rather than a time consuming and sometimes reward less process. Why would you want to give someone doing inhumane things human rights? Or think of it like this what if one of those hostages was someone you love. Whether it be you mother or father or child or partner it does not matter, you would not want harm to fall upon them so you would want them to be saved. How are they going to be saved in time if the person who had taken them hostage won’t tell you, I am sure you would want that person tortured to find out where your loved ones are. If you look at situations like this then you will see that torture can in fact saved lives, torture can get answers a lot quicker but torture should only be used in situations where lives are at stake. Torture should only be used in situations like my story not for things for petty crimes such as theft. To conclude torture is useful for getting results and answers of people, but should only be used to save lives.