Why We Should Care About Torture
"Why does the media care So much about torture?"
Jim Johnson, of State of Sunshine.
We should all care about torture. It is an act of violence that is morally unacceptable. The Geneva Conventions make clear torture is illegal.
To this end the following acts are and shall remain prohibited at any time and in any place whatsoever with respect to the above-mentioned persons:
(a) Violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment and torture;
(b) Taking of hostages;
(c) Outrages upon personal dignity, in particular, humiliating and degrading treatment;
(d) The passing of sentences and the carrying out of executions without previous judgment pronounced by a regularly constituted court affording all the judicial guarantees which are recognized as indispensable by civilized peoples.
The U.S. Constitution grants Habeas corpus. The U.S. Supreme Court decision Boumediene et al v. Bush allowed detainees to file Habeas corpus petitions. The Eighth Amendment forbids the use of "cruel and unusual punishments inflicted." Torture fits the definition of unconstitutional treatment of prisoners. Boumediene does not give detainees the same rights as American citizens. Conservatives argue it is okay to waterboard detainees because they are foreigners. Xenophobia trumps conducting interrogations that would produce quality intelligence.
The question that should be asked is why conservatives care so little about torture. The evidence is torture interrogations did not produce the intelligence the Bush administration claimed. Conservatives rightfully bash repressive regimes for torturing political prisoners. Why is torture good if the United States does it? Repressive if done by China.
Conservatives use the argument of jihadists beheading prisoners as evidence the Bush administration tactics are justified. Conservatives made the simplistic argument two wrongs make a right. Are we suppose to start beheading detainees because terrorists do? The question is asinine. As is waterboarding Khalid Sheik Mohammed 183 times and expecting new information.
The United States has sent Maher Arar sent to Syria to be tortured. He was released because the CIA mistaked him for someone else. Arar was held and tortured in Syria for ten months. Not only do we torture like repressive regimes - we outsource work to these countries
I hope that answers Jim Johnson's question.