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Torture has been a tool of coercion for nearly all of human history, whether to instill fear in a population or force people to convert, but almost all contemporary attempts to justify the use of torture revolve around torture as a means of extracting information from a victim. Used in this context, torture has a number of prominent advocates, despite the fact that ample historical and experimental evidence suggests that torture is a particularly ineffective way of extracting information (Cole, 2008, p. 375). Despite its inefficacy, torture was a central element of the United States' response to the terrorist attack of September 11th, 2001, and its supporters frequently invoked the image of a high-value target refusing to provide time-sensitive information. egardless of these dramatic scenarios or even the question of torture's efficacy, it is possible to definitively demonstrate that torture is not acceptable under theories of ontological, deontological, utilitarian, or…… [Read More]
Torture Is Unacceptable Under No Circumstances
Argument: torture is unacceptable because it is counterproductive
Argument: torture is unacceptable because it is illegal
Argument: torture is unacceptable because it is immoral
Is Torture Ever Acceptable in Any ay?
Although torture has existed as long as human history, liberal democracies in the last two centuries began to argue against the use of torture in all occasions because they began to see torture as a barbaric practice and morally repugnant. Nevertheless, even liberal democracies have often resorted to torture in practice, especially in times of war. Although as a matter of policy, most democracies have banned torture and have signed international conventions against the practice of torture and cruel punishments, periodic wars and crises force some policy-makers to question the wisdom of banning all kinds of torture. Thus, following the horrific attack on the United States on September 11, 2001, members…… [Read More]
The use of non-lethal torture in interrogating possible criminals has always been an area of debate. It wasn't hot topic when the terrorist activities were kept at a down low in the nineties. However, following nine eleven and the surge of terrorists, it became necessary to be aware of the activities they were up to. The major debate lies in the fact that whether a known terrorist should be subjected to non-lethal torture in order to attain information from him. There are questions whether these procedures should be mad into a law and the problems that would surface if it did. The major conclusion is that non-lethal torture would be deemed fit in a case when the person is a known terrorist and is expected to cause chaos and damage. Even through torture is morally wrong, in some cases it might go onto save thousands of people from dying.…… [Read More]
Torture and the Ticking Time-omb
The Definition of Torture
In 1984, the United Nations General Assembly produced an advisory measure known as the United Nations Convention Against Torture. This document specifically addressed torture from the perspective of governments and states, while it also focuses on the use of torture by any individual acting in an official capacity for said state or government. The document also addressed other forms of 'cruel and inhumane treatment'. Two other aspects of this convention are important: any government or state is forbidden to extradite individuals to a nation where it is reasonably possible that they might be tortured, and governments or states are required to act in an effective manner to halt and/or block the use of torture within their country. Evidence obtained from the use of torture is also forbidden from being used in any legal proceedings and/or courts.
The definition of torture specifically…… [Read More]
However, in truth, such incidences are rare and hence based on this pretext there is every danger that torture might become an administrative practice. There is every possibility that torture might become a systemic abuse tool. Thus only if morally permissible conditions prevail can torture be pursued. Another popular perspective is that bringing torture under a legal prism would make it a more effective tool as officials would only recourse to torture if the case seems really justified. If torture is accountable, then it becomes more justified. [Henry Shue] However, as John Conroy writes, 'Throughout the world torturers are rarely punished, and when they are, the punishment rarely corresponds to the severity of the crime' [Sanford Levinson, pg 9]
The article by Kenneth Roth, the executive director of the Human Rights Watch clearly supports the view of the Sanford Levinson and Henry Shue by illustrating the gross abuse of torture.…… [Read More]
These logistical problems are only one source of error in Levin's argument, however. The idea of establishing guilt with certainty before using torture fits the utilitarian ethic; it ensures that any reduction in happiness or good to the terrorist is more than compensated for by the increased happiness in the terrorist's would-be victims. The other part of Levin's argument, that torture should only be used as a preventative and not a punitive measure, also fits into utilitarianism. Punishment and confession to past acts does not create nearly enough happiness or good to make up for the pain caused by torture. But these two conditions for the use of torture -- that it is practiced with complete certainty of guilt and that it is solely preventative -- cannot logically coexist. In order for guilt of a terrorist to be certain, the act of evil has to have already been committed, which…… [Read More]
The dilemma lies herein: neither of the two approaches is entirely wrong.
The former, seemingly more humane, also seems impractical considering the fact that the overall dangers that hover the world today in the form of weaponry available and tactics designed are far advanced and devastating than anything else that has been witnessed in history. Its impracticality lies in its overlooking the gravity of an attack and in how torture at the right time and towards the right link could prove to be the difference between mass destruction and liberty. The fact is that this idea cannot stand firm for long in the face of the dangers and perils that can be caused today.
The latter approach, seemingly harsh, also seems ignorant of the fact that terrorism or war is not restricted to any race, religion or nation. Since the beginning of time, every nation has looked for supremacy in…… [Read More]
The Spanish Inquisition, on the other hand, was meant to discourage heresy, but in the end was simply the murder of many innocent people. During Medieval times, torture was used as a form of public punishment and, most dreadfully, as not only a deterrent, but also as entertainment.
3. Torture is absolutely immoral. No conditions or circumstances would ever justify such terrible actions towards a person's fellow human beings. No crime or offense merits the terror, pain and humiliation inflicted upon a human being. No purpose is high or important enough to justify such actions. Along with the rest of the civilized world, I most strongly condemn this form of punishment. While the focus here is torture today, I am particularly horrified by the concept of torture as entertainment. It is the deliberate infliction of severe and unbearable pain upon another human being for the entertainment of others. It cannot…… [Read More]
Sung accomplishes the refutation by the simple means of refusing to allow Dershowitz to stand on his assumptions of what permits so radical a circumstance. For example, Sung directly addresses Dershowitz's claim that terrorists are not implicitly owed protection of human dignity rights by virtue of their activities. Dershowitz does make a compelling argument for this but, as Sung points out, he is not actually enabled to take such a position because the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments have already made that decision (Sung 202). Due process is built into the law to protect all, and deliberately so; Sung implies, in fact, that the protections are likely in place to avert just such extreme eventualities. Then, Sung challenges the use of judicial warrants as an inherently contrary action, aside from the fundamental illegality. To legally warrant torture is, in Sung's view, to "legitimize" the practice, and this is clearly a catastrophic…… [Read More]
Even for the crime of murder (without torture), the infliction of many tortures are worse than the crime. The moral justification for executing a murderer is much more obvious than the infliction of any punishment that is even worse from the perspective of the murder. Torture may be appropriate with regard to specific crimes of torture, but that requires civil society to stoop to the level of barbarity of criminals.
Investigative: On its face, torture would seem to have a valid tactical use in criminal investigations. In the U.S. It is strictly prohibited under constitutional principals, but purely practical issues also suggest that even aside from any moral basis of objection, torture may not be as useful in practice. Specifically, innocent individuals under torture (or even the threat of torture) often provide false information to spare themselves. ecent experiences with individuals questioned under questionable conditions approaching torture in connection with…… [Read More]
" The point of bringing this up is, this is an age of violence in the world and throughout the entertainment industry, and so it is not surprising to hear ashington politicians rationalize, backtrack, dip into semantics and find euphemisms that work well when it comes to issues of torture.
A very well-known philosopher - the late Elizabeth Anscombe - stood up and was counted when it came to ethics and human rights. In 1956, Anscombe took offense to the suggestion that Oxford University should bestow an honorary degree on President Harry Truman. She along with others "opposed this because of his responsibility for the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" (O'Grady 2001). Although Anscombe and her colleagues were voted down by others at Oxford, "they forced a vote, instead of the customary automatic rubber-stamping of the proposal."
Anscombe wrote, "For men to choose to kill the innocent as a means…… [Read More]
These responsibilities notwithstanding, the American public was already being conditioned to view the war in Iraq as a battle against extremists, that is, against the Islamist radicals who had threatened the "American" way" of life on September 11, 2001. Jerry Falwell and Pat Robertson had already inflamed America's own Christian fundamentalists with talk that the terrible events of that day were to blame in part on "the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle... I point the finger in their face and say, 'You helped this happen.'"
That such intolerance was not unique to America, "champion" of liberty, can be seen in many nations around the world. Homosexuality is condemned by Muslim fundamentalists as much as by their Christian fundamentalist counterparts. Yet, Saddam Hussein's Iraq was reasonably tolerant of "discreet" gay and lesbian relationships.
It was only with the emergence of radical Islamic…… [Read More]
First, torture is likely to elicit false confessions. This is true; torture is likely to illicit false confessions and false information. Apply enough physical pain to a person and one is likely to get false information. The Inquisition established that people will admit to things that are impossible (being werewolves or witches) in order to put a stop to physical pain. Therefore, while torture should be used to gain information, information elicited by torture should not be used in prosecutions. In the United States, the Fifth Amendment protects people from involuntary self-incrimination, a protection that has been construed as a means of preventing police brutality to elicit false confessions. There is nothing incompatible with the idea of allowing the state to use torture to elicit emergency information but not allowing the state to use that information in a criminal trial. The impetus behind the use of torture is to prevent…… [Read More]
196). While the reader does not want to admit this could happen in the United States, after reading this book it does not seem so far-fetched, and that is a frightening, even unspeakable conclusion. The fact that the government condones these torture techniques is bad enough. The situation at Guantanamo Bay underscores how deeply the government has delved into torture and other forms of detention that fly in the face of human rights and what is right and wrong. Many Americans may turn their backs on these practices, saying they are "necessary" for the time, but they are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to losing human rights and our own personal freedoms. There is little difference between the torture techniques the CIA is using around the world, and many of the tactics the Soviets and many other dictatorships have used throughout the years. The regime of…… [Read More]
Torture an Animal?
While many people believe that animal testing is inhumane, many others see it as an important part of preserving human life. In my opinion, animal testing, due to the harsh nature of the process, should only be conducted if it is necessary to advance science and technology that may help save lives.
If I were working in a research lab and was involved in the development of a revolutionary skin graft that would save lives, I would definitely support animal testing for the product. In this case, animal testing would be a necessary process in testing the effects of the new development.
Without animal testing, this development would not be approved by the government. As a result, millions of lives would be affected, especially those of accident victims that may be saved by the skin graft.
While I am against torturing animals to test products like lipstick…… [Read More]
Since the rise of terrorism in the wake of 9/11, numerous tactics have been tried in order to obtain information about where terrorists are hiding and where they might attack next. One of these methods is torture. From a utilitarian perspective, torture should be viewed as an unethical approach to problem solving. The main problem that can be identified from this approach is that it simply does not work. A person who is being tortured cannot be trusted to tell the truth. Confessions that are made under duress are not admissible in a court of law for the simple reason that when one is promised that the pain will stop if the individual will just “confess,” that confession cannot be counted on to be unbiased or objective. There is a clear incentive to “confess”—that is, to end the torture. Torture as a tool of procuring the truth, therefore, is…… [Read More]
Public Policy Analysis
The definitions of some terms, such as torture, are not clearly defined in law. Whether it is torture or not depends on the initial objective, not the actual actions. After the rules for interrogation were set, they were changed several times to implement more actions as being allowed for interrogation. Without terms being clearly defined, it opens the door for confusion and misconceptions as to the meanings of the terms and what is allowed and what is not allowed, or prohibited, by law. Policies can be changed based on simple misconceptions that can make situations worse instead of bringing improvement.
Chronology of Facts
Numerous reports indicated slapping, kicking, beating, stripping of clothes, hands and feet chaining, dark cells, and extreme temperatures, among other actions. There were numerous reports that proved the abuse to the detainees did happen.
Detainees were falsely imprisoned. Military intelligence officers admitted that 70%…… [Read More]
Torture: Often Morally Justifiable
Given the events of the last ten-year, most notably U.S. Military techniques in Abu Graib, the subject of torture is ever a popular one and ever controversial. For the purposes of this paper, torture will be defined as "the intentional infliction of extreme physical suffering on some non-consenting, defenseless, other person for the purpose of breaking their will. I note that a person might have been tortured, even if in fact their will has not been broken; the purpose of the practice of torture is to break the victim's will, but this purpose does not have to be realized for a process to be an instance of torture" (Miller, 2005). Torture is all things that a civilized and peaceful society stands against. Torture is not something which is at all palatable or which seems to be the actions of an evolved and just collective of people.…… [Read More]
Mill, Kant, And Torture
An Analysis of the Utilitarian and Kantian Arguments for and against Torture
Alan Dershowitz expresses moral approval (with reservations) in his essay "Should the Ticking Time Bomb Terrorist be Tortured?" Dershowitz's argument is essentially that of a Utilitarian. But it also contains elements of Kantianism. hile a Kantian, however, could argue against the moral correctness of torture, Dershowitz steers the argument away from a Kantian perusal of the moral correctness of the argument through universality, which Dershowitz describes as a "slippery slope" (297), and concludes with a self-centered Utilitarian perspective that approves of torture as long as it meets specific criteria (i.e., is "above-board," "recorded," etc.). In this paper I will analyze whether torture is morally acceptable from both a Utilitarian and a Kantian perspective and show conclusively how either could actually be used to argue for and against torture.
The reason that both may be…… [Read More]
S. Congress 2006). Under a military commission's procedures and rules of evidence, the accused may present evidence, cross examine witnesses against him, and respond to evidence presented against him; attend all the sessions of the trial; and have the rights to counsel and self-representation. The bill does not grant him the right to see all the evidence against him to establish his guilt or innocence. It authorizes the Secretary to determine what kind of evidence is admissible, including that obtained without warrant within or without the United States. It forbids the disclosure of classified information if deemed detrimental to national security. It authorizes a conviction if the accused enters a plea of guilt or with two-thirds concurrence of the commission members present. The Secretary determines the sentence to be imposed, all post-trial procedures and trial review (U.S. Congress).
Analysis of the ill
S 3930 broadly defines "unlawful enemy combatant [Section…… [Read More]
Even though the order promised prisoners would receive humane treatments, the Bush Administration said that Geneva Conventions was not applicable to them (Goldsmith, 2012, p. 39).
The Detainee Treatment Act, sponsored by Senator John McCain sponsored the Detainee Treatment Act, states that "no court, justice, or judge shall have jurisdiction to hear or consider…an application for a writ of habeas corpus filed by or on behalf of an alien detained by the Department of Defence at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." President Bush allowed the bill following a statement saying that he will interpret the bill " in a manner consistent with the constitutional authority of the President to supervise the unitary executive branch, which will assist in achieving the shard objective of the Congress and the President of protecting the American people from future terrorist attacks" (Worthington, 2006, II-6).
Part 6 -- What is the appropriate ethical professional response of the…… [Read More]
Torture: Is It Morally Acceptable?
Part 1: Introduction
Is torture morally acceptable? In the U.S., arguments have been made both for and against the use of torture in fighting terrorism. Enhanced interrogation technique is a term that has been supplemented in the place of “torture” to make practices like waterboarding seem more acceptable to the public—but in spite of the name applied, the same questions persist. Depending on one’s ethical perspective, torture may or may not be justified. There are several practical problems with torture—namely that confessions made under duress do not even hold up in a court of law, so to assume that any information obtained under duress would be authentic is to go against reason as used in courts of law. However, this paper will look at the morality of torture using the deontological position. First, it will explain the deontological position. Then it will show that from…… [Read More]
Micheal Levins "The Case for Torture
In my opinion, Michael Levin's arguments in his essay, "The Case for Torture," cannot be sustained and are easily dismantled for the simple fact that they are not fully logical and are too much based on simple suppositions and false premises. I will be able in my essay to dismantle his arguments one by one, so as in the end to prove that the use of torture, under any circumstances, is not only immoral, unethical and illegal (under international laws), but also impracticable.
In his essay, Michael Levin starts from a simple supposition: a terrorist has placed an atomic bomb in Manhattan, thus threatening the lives of millions of individuals. y a stroke of luck, he is caught in the morning of the fateful day, but "preferring death to failure, won't disclose where the bomb is." Obviously, going through the entire legal procedure (lawyer,…… [Read More]
The Rationale for and the Efficacy of Torture during Interrogation
Although information from interrogational torture is unreliable, it is likely to be used frequently and harshly. ==John W. Schiemann, 2012
The epigraph above is indicative of the growing consensus concerning the lack of efficacy of torture in providing interrogators with reliable concealed information Concealed information is the foundation of the majority of security issues. In most cases, concealed information is a situation wherein one individual knows something that someone else does not know. Consequently, the majority of security issues could be resolved if there was a dependable method of determining those cases in which an individual was concealing information and extracting that information effectively. To date, though, there has not been a dependable method developed.1 For instance, polygraph research has been unable to achieve an accuracy level that would make the results acceptable in courtrooms in the United States…… [Read More]
This resulted in many countries rejecting majority if not all of the aspects regarding torture. However, torture is still being practiced in quite a few countries although they would rather not accept it in front of their own public or on the international level. There are a number of devices that are being used in order to bridge this gap such as "need to know," country denial, using jurisdictional argument, "secret police," denying the torturous nature of the treatments, appeal to different laws, making claim regarding the "overriding need," and many more on. In the history and even today as well there are a lot of countries that have taken part in torture (unofficially), what this means is that all of these countries have stopped their efforts in trying to stop this trend of torture and have started making use of this technique again (Vreeland, 2008).
United States in one…… [Read More]
This last category includes the infamous waterboarding technique, which has -- in subsequent evaluations -- been labeled illegal torture. An important consideration in the evaluation of these techniques has been the additive impact of combining techniques to achieve an enabling condition or objective. In other words, in its 2002 memo to John izzo, the Acting General Counsel of the C.I.A., the U.S. Justice Department specifically prohibited some combinations of techniques and specifically permitted other combinations. In the period following 9/11 through 2005, revolving officials in the Office of Legal Counsel of the U.S. Justice Department issued radical memos supporting or opposing the standard imposed by Congress for identifying torture. The harsh interpretation in 2005 asserted that the techniques used by the C.I.A. were not "cruel, inhuman or degrading," and so could not be considered to be torture.
How would you validate the information received from a suspect that was deprived…… [Read More]
Undoubtedly, this association is partially explained by his postwar notoriety, but the ubiquitous image of Mengele at the ramp in so many survivors' accounts has also to do with the fact that Mengele often appeared "off-duty" in the selection area whenever trainloads of new prisoners arrived at Auschwitz, searching for twins."
Mengele's fascination with twins, and especially with experimentation on twins in order to find a way in which he could potentially double the size of the German race, led him to experiment on everything from eyesight, to pain tolerance, to tuberculosis. From witness accounts, Mengele would even inject the children with diseases, which often provoked vomiting and diarrhea, or would subject them to cuts while strapped to a table.
Because of his firsthand experimentation and selection of many prisoners, Mengele is responsible for countless numbers of deaths. Furthermore, due to his orders, others were either tortured, maimed, or killed…… [Read More]
In other words, up until the middle of the 19th century, there were no cases of note or significance that indicated that the executive branch of the UNITED STATES government had the authority to render suspects or criminals to foreign locations outside of the explicit authority granted through a signed treaty with a foreign government.
It was during the Civil War that the first major break with this established legal tradition was made. The incident involved the capture of a foreign citizen in New York City during wartime and performed by presidential authority alone. The man captured was Jose Augustin Arguelles, a Spanish subject, who captured illegal slave traders, claimed a reward, then sold the slaves to plantation owners. Under Spanish law he was a criminal, but the United States had no extradition treaty with Spain. Despite having no legal authority to do so, Lincoln authorized the capture of the…… [Read More]
A d) the theoretical approach to legal reasoning that casts the most helpful light on judicial reasoning in determining whether or not evidence derived from torture should be admissible is legal positivism, as developed by H.L.A. Hart. Hart's approach to legal positivism focused strongly on the relationship between the law and morality. One would be hard pressed to describe an area where the relationship between moral behavior and the law is more at issue than in a question involving torture. The question is especially salient when a country may not have any influence over interrogation procedures, such as when the United Kingdom is relying upon interrogations performed in other countries. However, Hart's rule of recognition articulates the point-of-view that social norms should not always be legal norms. There is no question that the prohibition against torture is a widespread social norm, as reflected by the common law, informal international law,…… [Read More]
They point out that if a suspected terrorist gets on a plane and gets off at a place like Copenhagen or Toronto and demands asylum, even if he is not granted asylum, he's pretty much got a safe haven to operate in because he can' be deported or extradited back to where ever he came from. They believe that such lenient 'European' laws create a huge gap in security, which need to be tightened and that human rights conventions such as the Convention Against Torture make it almost impossible for states to gain a reasonable and necessary degree of assurance against devastating attacks in an age of asymmetrical warfare against international terrorists.
Former U.S. officials such as Michael Scheuer, who helped to set up the CIA's rendition program during the Clinton administration, are more forthcoming about commenting on the nature and existence of 'extraordinary' renditions. Scheuer has in different statements…… [Read More]
Finally, torture is the best means to try to get this information from the suspect (McCoy, 2006). Taken as a whole, these circumstances are so unlikely to occur that, even if the ticking bomb scenario would justify the use of torture, it has not ever occurred and, therefore, cannot be used to justify torture.
In fact, what many people who advocate in favor of torture fail to acknowledge is that while torture may be guaranteed to elicit information from even the most reticent of subjects, there is no reason to believe that torture will elicit truthful information. The theory behind torture is that, with the application of sufficient pain and fear, people will talk, and that does appear to be true in the vast majority of cases. However, it is more important to wonder what they will say than whether they will talk. In the non-terrorist scenario, "About 25% of…… [Read More]
Culture that Encourages Human ights
Americans were shocked when they learned about the abuse of prisoners at Abu Ghraib. Or were they? Certainly, the media reported shock and outrage on the part of the public to the unpleasant revelations. But the outrage, if it really existed, has certainly not been a lasting outrage. The White House response to photos of young military personnel sexually assaulting and humiliating prisoners was to imply that only a few poorly supervised bad apple MPs would do such things. President George W. Bush said: "These acts do not represent the values America stands for." However, many Americans do not abhor the treatment of those prisoners at all. In fact, they think there should be more of it. "They do it to us," is commonly heard in restaurants where ordinary people discuss current events. epublican Congressman James Inhofe of Oklahoma dismissed the whole thing by saying,…… [Read More]
According to Kant, men cannot be used as a means to an end, even to achieve a positive action for a greater number of men and women: "For he whom I propose by such a promise to use for my own purposes cannot possibly assent to my mode of acting towards him and, therefore, cannot himself contain the end of this action. This violation of the principle of humanity in other men is more obvious if we take in examples of attacks on the freedom and property of others. For then it is clear that he who transgresses the rights of men intends to use the person of others merely as a means, without considering that as rational beings they ought always to be esteemed also as ends, that is, as beings who must be capable of containing in themselves the end of the very same action." No human being…… [Read More]
This is because, most suspects will more than likely only begin talking after they have been subject to extreme amounts of pressure. Evidence of this can be seen with Danner writing, "American officials acknowledged that such techniques were recently applied as a part of the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, the highest ranking Al Qaeda operative in custody until the capture of Mr. Mohamed. Painkillers were withheld from Zubaydah, who was shot several times during his capture in Pakistan." (Danner, 2004, pg. 7) This is important, because it is showing how the use of torture can help to provide officials with information about terrorist related activities. However, during the process of obtaining this information is when they will have to use different tactics that will place physical and emotional pressure on the terrorist. This is when they will begin to openly talking about future activities and plans.
When you compare the…… [Read More]
Enacted after the horrors of World War II demonstrated the limitations of earlier treaties, the Geneva Convention of 1949 have become one of the preeminent international standards dictating the behavior of combatants and the treatment of individuals in the context of international and other conflicts, to the point that it has become a part of generally accepted customary international law. Building upon three earlier treaties signed in Geneva, the Convention of 1949 outlined rigorous standards defining and governing the treatment of civilian and military prisoners, the wounded, and civilians found in and around the war zone. Over the course of the last decade, the centrality of the Geneva Convention to international war and politics has come to the fore as a result of debates surrounding the relevance of the Convention to the United States execution of the War on Terror, especially in regards to the treatment and detainment…… [Read More]
In Ariel Dorman's play Death and the Maiden, Paulina has obviously been deeply traumatized by her experience of being tortured by former military regime of this Latin American country, and is definitely not prepared to peacefully coexist with those who committed atrocities against their own people. Although the country is never named specifically, anyone familiar with the history would recognize it as Chile, which had been ruled by General Augusto Pinochet in 1973-90. Nowhere does the play mentioned that Pinochet was installed in a coup by the Central Intelligence Agency and supported by the United States government, or that the U.S. has continued to lie about these events up to the present. As part of the transition to democracy, also brokered by the U.S. government, the members of the former regime received an amnesty so that they could never be prosecuted. Paulina is one of the victims of…… [Read More]
Pinochet's Case is Not Yet Satisfying to Chilean and Human Rights Activists
Although hampered by internal constraints and challenges, the nation of Chile stands poised to enter the 21st century as a major player in the world's international community. On the one hand, the sound economic policies that were first implemented by the Pinochet dictatorship resulted in unprecedented growth in 1991- 1997; these policies have also helped secure the country's commitment to democratic and representative government. On the other hand, General Augusto Pinochet has been found guilty of the torture, disappearance, and murder of thousands of Chileans, including international citizens, but he has not yet been brought to justice. After Patricio Aylwin inaugurated a democratic presidency in 1990, he continues to bring excuses for Pinochet's actions or exercises control to avoid facing justice. Pinochet declared himself as Commander of Chief of the Army and afterwards, Senator for life in Chile.…… [Read More]
Also, the death penalty still in use in a great deal of countries might provide another subject for debate from the point-of-view of human rights.
A minimalist set of human rights, meant only to keep people safe from humiliation and pain cannot be effective. This is mainly because while certain human rights seem to be of little necessity, they are actually indispensable. Economic, civil, and political rights are of great importance because they assist society's interests.
Human rights are not likely to have any decisive effect in international relationships, and they are also not expected to be of any use when it comes to the stopping perpetrators from breaking the law. The best thing to do in order to make the world a better place would be to promote the concept of good, so as to influence the masses into contributing to preserve human rights.
1. Forsythe D.P.…… [Read More]
In 1976, life changed dramatically in Argentina. On March 24, 1976, a military coup took place. In an attempt to wipe out all dissenting opinion, they began a campaign of terror where thousands of people literally disappeared. The testimonies of the survivors of torture and kidnapping are brutal to read. The methods used to torture them; including electrical prods and live burials left lasting scars, both physical and mental on these survivors. The patterns in these testimonies are all the same. The torturers were sadistic and brutal, and would stop at nothing to get the information they wanted. They tortured loved ones in front of their family members, they took whole families from their homes, and they killed thousands with no remorse.
The patterns are patterns of extreme violence, and the violence seems to stem from fear. They feared the recriminations of the left-wing dissidents, they feared their reaction…… [Read More]
Road to Guantanamo
The docudrama, the Road to Guantanamo, the 2006 film by Matt Whitecross and Michael Winterbottom provided a unique look at the complexities and difficulties of enforcing international cooperation. This thrilling tale of the now famous "Tipton Three" British men of Pakistani and Bangladeshi origin who, through a combination of poor decision-making and violations of international law, allows the viewer to examine these modern problems using the war on terrorism as a means of telling the story. The purpose of this essay is to examine this film and highlight five separate violations of international cooperation using the articles of the Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a guide and authority of the discussion.
The first violation of international cooperation is evident at the beginning of the film. The film is taking place under the conditions at the beginning of the war on terror in…… [Read More]
Terrorists operate like spies and not like soldiers. For this reason, terrorists are not regarded as members of the combat concerning the conventions and treaties that ban torture. Therefore, it is normal for them to be given a different treatment when they are captured. This approach suggests that terrorists undertake actions that exclude them from protection from torture as indicated in treaties such as the Geneva Conventions (Hall 27). Their actions justify the argument that terrorists should not be given the legal protection normally given to other citizens on the foundation of law. Moreover, terrorism has created the foundation of the global context that provides justification to the suspension of the rights of suspects. People who are suspected to assist terrorists or to be part of terrorism groups do not belong to humanity. Therefore, it is possible and necessary for them to be tortured if this is the only means…… [Read More]
While the medical field agrees that prolonged suffering is not a desired product of medical care it has not yet reached the point of accepting that it is actually torture.
When we are at war we have soldiers how are standing trial for the torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners of war, however, we are not allowed to prevent that same level of torture from being thrust upon our loved ones who are ill / this makes no sense. Making someone endure the fevers, the pain, and the physical maladies that come with many of the life ending diseases today is actually a form of torture. It makes a person suffer against their will and at the hands of someone else, in this case the medical community.
More recently there have been strong arguments in courtrooms regarding Euthanasia and the right to choose to die now rather than later after…… [Read More]
Banality of Evil
What is the relationship between the banality of evil and the ordinariness of goodness?
Justas the 'banality of evil' was committed by apparently ' regular' ordinary' people who proceeded with the premise that their actions were acceptable based on their indoctrinations or cultural teachings (as e.g. By the third eich) and, therefore, 'evil' lost its maliciousness and became ordinary, so too, as per David Blumenthal (1999), goodness is also normalized and becomes banal through systems of social hierarchy, education, and childhood discipline that shape both good and evil attitudes and actions.
2.How do both torturers and the tortured come to terms with their circumstances? Are their similarities between these processes?
Torture not only causes pain to the body but can also cause associated damage and corruption to the psyche. The torturer, on the other hand, may not experience physical pain but will certainly experience the same damage…… [Read More]
a) Changes in APA Public Policy
According to several changes made in APA Public policy with relation to the role of psychologists in the interrogations session, APA has prohibited its psychologists from taking part in the varied torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading interrogation techniques by stating, "No psychiatrist should participate directly in the interrogation of persons held in custody by military or civilian investigative or law enforcement authorities, whether in the United States or elsewhere. Direct participation includes being present in the interrogation room, asking or suggesting questions, or advising authorities on the use of specific techniques of interrogation with particular detainees (Pope, 2008, Psychologists at the Center of the Controversy)." urthermore, it was asserted through referendum which took place in 2008 that psychologists must not operate outside territories which are under the jurisdiction of international law such as Guantanamo, Bagram, or the CIA or JSOC "black site" prisons,…… [Read More]
Even if the torture of these people would save lives it is a slippery slope that we do not want to begin. Once we allow the torture of suspects or terrorists it could begin a landslide witch-hunt in which people who are not terrorists and have not committed any crimes could be tortured based on suspect or circumstantial evidence.
While there is justified outrage at what happened in this country we, as Americans, must maintain our ethical standards at all times. It is only by maintaining these standards that we can hope to set and example worldwide about the strength and dignity of our nation and all that it stands for.
The history of "just war" philosophy stems from religious and secular issues. One of the longest standing Just War traditions centers on religious differences including the differences between Muslim and Christian faiths. In addition the "Just War" theories support…… [Read More]
Guantanamo: A Complicated Issue
Naval prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, has been a controversial topic among American citizens and politicians ever since information surfaced about detainees being held indefinitely without charge and possibly tortured while incarcerated there. President Obama made it a key issue in his 2008 campaign, vowing to close it when he became president. He seemed to be making good on his promise in December of 2009, when he signed an Executive Order demanding the transfer of remaining prisoners to other facilities or to foreign countries and the permanent closure of the prison camp. But as of 2012, the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay remains open.
There are several difficult issues that complicate Obama's ability to close "Gitmo," as it is sometimes called. Guantanamo does not have a good reputation among Americans, and it has an even worse reputation in other countries. One of the primary…… [Read More]
high degree of misinformation I had received from traditional teachings about the church and the beginning of Christianity. Moreover, I was struck by the notion that most other people in the Western world receive this same degree of intentional misinformation, so much so that I have even heard people defend the idea that knowledge of the historical church is irrelevant to modern Christianity. Reading through the class material, I was struck by how critical this historical information was to the understanding of the actual church. One critical piece of information is the idea of Jesus as the head of the church, despite him not establishing Christianity as a separate religion. Another critical idea was that prophets could play a continuing role in Christianity, when my traditional understanding had suggested that after Jesus there would be no more Jewish prophets. I also found myself wondering about the very obvious and significant…… [Read More]
River Runs Through Her: River Imagery and Symbolism in Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl"
Water symbolism, and especially that of the river, is integral to Harriet Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl. Rivers, with their winding waters, are not just part of the geographic landscape or the natural world. For Jacobs, rivers and all bodies of water have both practical and symbolic functions. The river forms a physical barrier between places; it divides states and physical locations. Rivers divide cites like Philadelphia and they provide natural borders between cities and states. Rivers also help delineate the North and the South, which in Jacobs' time was eminently significant. Therefore, the river is a metaphorical barrier between slavery and freedom. The oppressive plantations of the south are separated from the Free States in the north by these flowing bodies of water. In Harriet Jacobs'…… [Read More]
Amnesty International (2010) also reports that domestic violence is the major cause of death and disability for women ages 16 to 44 years. Of course, there isn't any forgetting that women in Colombia and Darfur -- places of dangerous armed conflict -- are commonly raped. Amnesty International also notes that the trafficking of women has become a global issue; women are exploited sexually, raped, forced into hard labor and are victims of severe sexual and physical abuse.
The United States must take a stance in helping to protect women across the globe. On February 4, 2010, members of Congress introduced the International Violence Against Women Act (I-VAWA), an important step in protecting, defending and empowering women around the world. This would be a groundbreaking law as we live in a world where "approximately 1 out of 3 women worldwide has been beaten, coerced into sex or otherwise abused in her…… [Read More]
In the words of BBC Middle East analyst Gerald Butt (2001), "…his (Saddam's) opponents have not been able to nominate anyone else who might hold Iraq together -- with its Kurds in the north, Sunni Muslims in the centre [sic], and Shi'a in the south. What the outside world calls terror, Saddam calls expediency." Interestingly, Butt's analysis took into consideration the fact that despite the atrocities that Saddam had and has purportedly done to Iraqis and Iraq's neighbors, world leaders, particularly Western leaders like the U.S. And Britain, are still actually taking an active role in Saddam's political decision-making, albeit the latter has chosen to contain himself within Iraq's borders. Prior to 9/11, U.S. leadership continued to tolerate Saddam's regime, only until the point that it is able to find a 'suitable' replacement for the dictator (Dickey and Thomas, 2002).
In addition to "covert actions" taken to secure that Iraq…… [Read More]
It is difficult to discern what the most egregious act of injustice was during the criminal case involving Frank Jude and the police department of Milwaukee, isconsin. The brutal beating the young man incurred, which clearly transgressed the line from a mere drubbing to wanton, pernicious acts of torture, would appear to lead the unspeakable travesty that would befall him in the months and years following his initial 2004 encounter with this police department. However, the duplicity involved in the farce of the investigation that was filed, culminating in the state trial in which justice was made a mockery of, is equally if not more so insidious because it directly deceived not only Jude and his civil rights, but also those of all others who depend on the criminal justice system for some semblance of righteousness. Or, quite possibly the most disturbing if not outright criminal aspect of this…… [Read More]
Eason Jordan made what he defined as a "life and death" decision to withhold information that might get his informants killed in Iraq. "It's very simple," he said. "Do you report things that get people killed? The answer is no.," (cited by Rutenberg, 2003). Jordan's decision is a little bit surprising, considering the media's generally ruthless approach to journalism: such as the push to get the story first, or to glean information before competitors in the industry. Journalism is cutthroat enough on an individual level: leading reporters on the ground and editorial boards to make decisions that are in the best interest of the company, but which are not necessarily ethical.
In the case with Eason Jordan, however, it seems that the editorial choice might have been the ethical one. Although "several journalism professors and commentators said Mr. Jordan had compromised CNN's journalistic mission so the cable network could continue…… [Read More]
politics of memory, and the politicization of memory, with particular reference to Chile and the human rights violations inflicted upon the population by the Pinochet regime.
What memories are present in Chilean society? In 1973, Chile witnessed a political coup, with President Salvador Allende's left government being overthrown by the military dictatorship of General Pinochet. Following this coup, Pinochet made it his mission in life to eradicate 'leftist' thinking, to rid society of the evils of this thinking, by killing political opponents, by torturing people thought to be of a leftist persuasion, by forcing leftists thinkers into exile (Angell, 2000; rook, 2000). Thousands upon thousands of people 'disappeared' in Chile during the Pinochet regime. This situation brings about many memories, all of which are painful. For those on the left, there are the memories of the people who were killed, memories of the torture, memories of their family members forced…… [Read More]
The somber tone revealing the tense nature of reporting for CNN in Iraq. The intent of his piece was not to ask for forgiveness, but rather to enable understanding for why he did the things he did. He explains he couldn't divulge any of those stories he heard for fear of putting his staff and Iraqi citizens in danger.
By writing this piece in paragraphs, it looked more like a personal essay than an article. He kept it in the first person and included an introduction and conclusion, noting how he felt about having to hide these stories from the public. Although some of it makes it seem like a letter, the structure, and the transitions in-between paragraphs clearly denotes an essay. Some of it was written in defense of his actions, and then in the end he expressed remorse for having to keep it all inside. However, the overall…… [Read More]
Lynching in Virginia
The history of lynching in the state of Virginia is still surrounded by many misconceptions. Even though is has been decades since the last of the official lynchings took place, it is still difficult to find reliable and accurate information that accurately represents what went on during that period in history. Many of the primary documents on the issue are relatively sketchy and they avoid the real truth of the matter. Memories that have been passed down through generations are also somewhat sketchy and often they are changed by the passage of time. There are some surviving photographs but they do not really give insight into the meanings and motivations of the tradition, and instead show only the brutality (Allen, 2000).
It does appear, however, that the lynching practice did originate in Virginia with Col. Charles Lynch and some of his associates (rundage, 1993). It is not…… [Read More]
Apparently Brandt handled the medical needs of Bruckner well because Hitler made him "…his personal physician" and in time Brandt was given the rank of "major-general in the affen-SS" (Spartacus Educational).
Brandt helped establish the "Law for the Protection of Hereditary Health," which was a smokescreen for "compulsory sterilization" -- and in fact Brandt was in charge of the program ("Reich Committee for the Scientific Registration of Serious Hereditary and Congenially-Based Diseases") that basically was established to kill those who were "insane" and the "physically handicapped" (Spartacus Educational). The JVL explains that Brandt's euthanasia program began in 1939, and deformed children along with the very old and insane were murdered by gas or lethal injections in "…nursing homes, hospitals and asylums" (JVL, 1).
During the Nuremberg Trials the prosecutors were "caught off guard by the numerous affidavits submitted by the defense" that testified to the quality of Brandt's "personal character"…… [Read More]
History Of Corrections
Humankind, all through recorded history, has actually created innovative methods to "punish" their own kind for legitimate and even apparent transgressions. Amongst tribal communities as well as in much more developed cultures, this kind of punishment may include, amongst various other tortures, lashes, branding, drowning, suffocation, executions, mutilation, as well as banishment (which within faraway areas had been equivalent to the dying sentence). The degree related to the punishment frequently relied on the actual wealth and standing of the offended individual and also the culprit. Individuals charged or determined guilty and those who had been more potent had been frequently permitted to make amends simply by recompensing the sufferer or their family members, whilst people who had been less well off as well as lower status had been prone to endure some kind of physical penalties. However regardless of the strategy, and also for no matter what…… [Read More]
La Parure "The Necklace" by Maupassant
French author Guy de Maupassant is considered one of the greatest French short story writers. Maupassant wrote more than 300 short stories, six novels and three travel books until in 1891, when he went mad. Maupassant's tales were dark and ironic, he portrayed the bourgeoisie life of Paris and his characters were unhappy victims of their greed, desire or vanity. What was most remarkable was Maupassant's style, he was a master of his skill, and he had a highly controlled style marked by objectivity and with sheer irony and comedy. His stories were usually about simple episodes of everyday life, which revealed hidden sides of people.
La Parure (The Necklace) is one of the celebrated works of Maupassant, a short story filled with irony and dark humor with implicit philosophical message that 'pride goeth before a fall' and the fact that pride always brings…… [Read More]
The main concern in virtue ethics becomes about a person's moral character. When people choose to develop their moral character, better virtues will be created, and thus there will be more people acting in virtuous ways in all aspects of their lives -- and this includes how they treat all animals.
One example to be considered when thinking about how a person with a strong sense of virtue might behave is to counter it with how a person with a strong sense of duty might behave. From a duty sense, if one were a livestock farmer, he or she might believe that his or her duty lies in what is best for the people because, after all, the job is about raising livestock for slaughter, which will then become food for people. Therefore, the first duty would be to humans and the second duty to animals (Panaman 20008) (which may…… [Read More]
Whatever happened you vanished, and neither you nor your actions were ever heard of again" (Orwell, 1949, p.168).
Principles of mass production are very clear in the novels. Huxley for instance, applied the idea of mass production in human reproduction, since the people has abandoned the natural method of reproduction. Mass production as the conventional feature of capitalism and Huxley's novel reinforces such. He talked about the requirement of the World State about constant consumption, which is considered as foundation of its stability. Huxley apparently criticizes the commercial dependence of the world towards goods. Conditioning centers teaches people to consume. Orwell similarly provides criticism to capitalism as well: "The centuries of capitalism were held to have produced nothing of any value." The Proles are the symbols of the capitalist system as they constitute the working class who work in assembly lines.
Destruction of the concept of family
oth novels…… [Read More]