Thursday, May 19, 2011

Tourture Is Not Ok!

For years, the United States Military and Secret Service have been performing torture techniques on prisoners of war who have been captured by the US during its involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan. The excuse the US has used for performing enhanced interrogation techniques against detainees is that the US will be able to gather beneficial information in advancing our mission in the Middle East through torture that they would otherwise not be able to capture. The use of enhanced interrogation by the US against prisoners of war has been a very controversial issue with many people in the US and around the world who disagree with the use of such techniques.
After the US military assassinated Osama Bin Laden a couple weeks ago, many questions were asked about how the military became informed of the whereabouts of Bin Laden. In attempting to find the answer to this question, Senator John McCain (ranking member of the Armed Services Committee) asked CIA Director Leon Panetta how information was gathered in finding the exact location of Bin Laden.  In Panetta’s response to McCain, he stated that the years spent interrogating Al Qaeda detainee Khalid Sheikh Mohammed through techniques such as waterboarding did not lead to any information that helped the CIA find the whereabouts of Bin Laden, and that the information gathered from Mohammed via waterboarding was actually counterproductive in their mission. In a statement made by McCain after learning this information, he said that using torture techniques against Mohammed and other detainees produced false and misleading information in finding Bin Laden. McCain also stated that he had learned the most beneficial information gathered by the CIA in finding Bin Laden was gathered by detainees through non-coercive means. Also, the exact whereabouts of Bin Laden were not fully released by any CIA detainee who had been through enhanced interrogation or not.
The US Military and secret service has been using enhanced interrogation techniques on members of Al Qaeda and other insurgents since 2002, and did not find the exact whereabouts of Bin Laden until 2011. Although some people thought such techniques were beneficial in advancing the US’s mission against Al Qaeda, it took the US 9 years after the implementation of enhanced interrogation on detainees to finally find and kill Bin Laden. Considering the capture of Bin Laden was the top objective of the US in the War on Terror and recent statements by the CIA show enhanced interrogation was more destructive than productive in completing this objective, the US government should rethink such policies. If the US wants to maintain its reputation as being the land of the free and a nation that supports human rights, it should not continue to lower itself to a level where the government views torture as a proper means in gathering information. It is time the US government ban inhumane techniques such as torture and act in a non coercive manner when attempting to gather information that will help the US succeed in fighting the war on terror.
- Liberty_Mike

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