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Torture has been use by interrogation units for a very long time to elicit the truth from suspects. By considering that crime is a social vice and should be prevented at all costs, torture may become a necessary evil. This implies that, despite the fact that it inflicts pain on the suspects, it serves the overall purpose of protecting the majority. Does this as well mean that torture is necessary irrespective of the harm it causes to its victims as much as it protects the interests of the larger population?
Since torture is such a painful treatment, officials need to establish the limits within which it should be done. However, it is exceedingly difficult to draw these lines given the fact that there are no units to measure pain (Lee 245). In addition, it is also impossible to determine the point at which a suspect has given the correct information. This implies that an individual could be tortured until death even when they have said what was expected of them. In such scenarios, torture becomes a means of executing suspects without due trial.
Recently, video of American soldiers has shown massive torture of suspects in the Middle East. Going by what is witnessed in these videos; torture can be described as a means of carrying out revenge (Otterman 289). This is because it amounts to intimidation, punishment, and dehumanization. Although torture has been used in such incidences, attacks have continued to escalate thus making use of torture questionable. It is a fact that torture is not effective in some situations. Therefore, security agents should be able to determine when to use torture and when to desist from it. This is practically impossible because a suspect is always a suspect. There have been an outcry from renowned bodies such as the human rights watch and amnesty international condemning torture. These organizations have found that torture is done for vengeful goals and worse still for the sadistic pleasure of it. Even though torture could be justified using different means, what degree of torture can be said to be reasonable? According to Brecher, there are no acceptable measures of torture (33).
The process of torture is based on guesswork. There is a huge possibility that the identity of a suspect is wrong. Furthermore, one being a suspect does not necessarily mean that one is aware of something he or she is suspected of doing (Brecher 29). This means that when an individual is arrested, torturers convict them and brand them guilty immediately. This is the case especially where situation is said to be n emergency. Therefore, suspects go ahead to be punished using pain without going through the normal judicial mechanisms. Such event amounts to gross violation of human rights. In addition, this cashes with some section of the law. For instance, the Miranda laws are broken entirely since the suspect is not informed of his or her rights. Though this is done, none of rights is respected if what has been seen in torture chambers is anything to go by.
Most proponents of torture have argued that it is wise to consider the harm that can be caused in cased to the people rather than to a suspect. This has given birth to a common phenomenon called the tickling bomb (Brecher 28). In this scenario, torture is supported by a prominent example of a ticking bomb hidden somewhere and about to go off. In case suspects are arrested, and it is believed they have the whereabouts of the bomb, then it will be best to force the truth out of such an individual. It is arguably correct to opt for torture in order to abate such an imminent crime. This is because it could bring more harm to the people than torture will to the suspect. Therefore, torture in this scenario is perfectly justified. The September 9 terror attacks in the United States have caused a heated debate of whether torture should be a necessity in fighting crime especially terrorism. Most of those advocating for its application argue on similar grounds. A ticking bomb cannot be used as an example to justify torture. In fact, this example backfires in different ways. Supposing a suspect is such a radical criminal and would do anything to accomplish his or her mission. Such suspects may decide to tell lies to stop torture for some time (Brecher 37). In such events, security officials are supposed to confirm what the suspect says. If it is a bomb as explained in this example, then it could go off because a suspect could buy time using lies. This proves that torture is not reliable in virtually all situations, as many have been made to believe.
Emergencies in security related issues necessitated the need to apply torture in preventing a disaster. Therefore, incase security officials have arrested an individual who they think is responsible for planned crime, then torture should be applied (Lee 251). During an emergency, it is extremely difficult to seta and come up with ways considered reasonable for preventing a disaster. Opponents of this notion have argued that governments have always used the issue of emergency to inflict undeserved paint to suspects. Such situations are given as excuses to go ahead and torture suspects whereby the authorities try to justify their actions in the name of protecting the larger society. The biggest challenge to this theory is how to ensure that an individual is a real suspect with the information required. This means that wrong individuals could be apprehended and subjected to torture when they should not.
In conclusion, torture seems to serve better during emergencies rather than in normal interrogations. It is also seen as effective when the effects of a crime outweigh the pain caused on suspects. However, torture has yielded no tangible results in many occasions. This is because it inflicts pain of suspects without verifying several issues as stipulated in the law. Torture is also more of a revenge tool that is also used as a punitive measure by interrogators. This implies that t should be discouraged.
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