Interrogational Torture: Effective or Purely Sadistic? Essay

Interrogational Torture: Effective or Purely Sadistic? Essay

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Terrorists successfully piloted two airplanes into the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 and one into the Pentagon, which resulted in the death of more than 2,700 people. These attacks were on a scale never before seen and as a result of this, national security measures needed to change. This was the dawn of the U.S “war on terror” implemented by former President George W. Bush in order to protect the nation from future terrorist attacks. The “war on terror” is unlike any other war the U.S has ever fought in the past. This new enemy does not identify themselves with uniforms, but rather they blend into the civilian population, which makes them almost impossible to pinpoint and their attacks can transpire anywhere and anytime. Consequently this sparked a worldwide debate on whether or not using torture tactics on terrorist suspects was an effective means of gathering accurate information to prevent future attacks. The information gathered is not always accurate, but has the potential of saving innocent lives in the future.
Those against the use of torture raise the topic that information obtained from a terrorist is unreliable and misleading. Throughout history, nations and empires have been using torture as an instrument to gain information from prisoners, but how do we know the person being tortured is being truthful? This has been a major concern that has been addressed in the past. Dating back to the third century A.D., the great Roman Jurist Ulpian recognized that intelligence collected through torture was not dependable since some people are, “so susceptible to pain that they will tell any lie rather than suffer it” (Peters, 1996). These ‘high value targets” that are tortured have been trained to resist torture and kno...


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... or purely sadistic?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 28 March 2012.

Schaefer, John. "US Torture: Illegal, Immoral and Ineffective." Times-standard.com. N.p., 11 July 2013. Web. 15 Apr. 2014. .

Schiemann, J. W. "Interrogational Torture: Or How Good Guys Get Bad Information with Ugly Methods." Political Research Quarterly 65.1 (2012): 3-19. Print.

Tenet, George, and Bill Harlow. At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. New York: HarperCollins, 2007. Print.

Ungar, Rick. "When Extreme Interrogation Tactics Work Is It Time To Rethink Torture?" Forbes. Forbes Magazine, 04 May 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2014.

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