When people are abused, they will either curl up into an emotional wreck, or may have the fueled tendency to lash out at absoloutely anyone at all. Physical abuse breeds mental instability, and in turn, mental instability may be hard to neutralize, if not even permanent. Individuals who are subjected to hopeless scenarios where they are constantly being hurt, will most likely develope an aggressive streak and probably become predators when released into society. It is not fair to hurt anyone, no matter what the cause. Torture is Hitler's ugly cousin, and who can forget Hitler, the icon of World War II; a man who can solely be blamed for the death 56,125,262 human beings who participated in WWII to stop innocents from being slaughtered through methods of mass murder from the use of lethal gas, mass executions, amongst other barbaric methods of extermination. (Hitler.org) Amazingly enough, Hitler’s victims were allowed death. They were given release, through death, as opposed to being subjected to torture which can last from a hour up to an indefinite period of time. It is simply unfair to hold on to a person, and torture them when there is no sufficient proof, and when 'looking like a terrorist' has become a crime.
What is a terrorist anyway? A person who dresses a certain way, or maintains a certain look by having a beard, perhaps? Is it the faith that makes a person look like a terrorist? Is it the intent to cause harm? If so, can the Ku Klux Klan be seen as a terrorist group, and does it speak for Christianity as a whole? The simple answer to that question, is 'no'. That only spurs the need to understand why the definition of 'terrorist' fluctuates too much, and why it is now used to describe an ethnicity and its main religion rather than a cult of hateful people.
Today’s captives are exposed the most vicious acts of torture that target self-esteem, physical well-being, and mental health. A prime example of a place that harbords torture today, is Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, "One of the detainees had described being taken out and tied to a post and having rubber bullets fired at them." Also, "They were being made to kneel cruciform in the sun until they collapsed.
The reports about the number of suicide attempts and the level of mental health of the detainees is evidence of the treatment that they're receiving." (Knight).
The torture included being kept chained to the floor in painful bent positions for hours or days on end, sprayed with mace, held in isolation and/or naked for weeks and months at a time. Other methods involved being kept in freezing air conditioned rooms, sleep deprivation, near-starvation, denial of medical treatment and prescription drugs, forced injections of unknown drugs, sexual humiliation and religious harassment. (Phillips).
Such harrassments performed and allowed by the US, a country which has long promoted the freedom and justice to the rest of the world is painfully hypocritical. Even cattle does not experience such inhumane torture. There is no need for elaboration here.
Consider for a moment, a person who under constant pressure from peers. Jokes will be made regarding a stain on the person's shirt, or the car that the person drives. Any visible hint of this human’s trend of living will be under scrutiny, which is at most times, negative. Naturally, the subject of this negativity will have a booming readiness to be defensive, and possibly even aggressive just to ‘protect’ oneself from any more dribbles of insult. Note, that this person is most likely not subjected to any dramatic physical pain, and will still most likely lash out eventually, causing all sorts of harm to those who may share the living environment. Similarly, captives in torture "camps" will undergo severe blows to their ego, their body, and most importantly, their mind. When that is the case, and in the name of protecting one’s country, a human being has been broken. As if harming somebody for information is something that we must train ourselves to look away from; well, it is not:
Psychological symptoms of torture frequently include anxiety, depression, irritability, paranoia, guilt, suspiciousness, sexual dysfunction, loss of concentration, confusion, insomnia, nightmares, impaired memory, and memory loss. Survivors of torture are often unwilling to disclose information about their experiences. They may be suspicious, frightened, or anxious to forget about what has happened. These feelings may discourage them from seeking the help they need. (Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture)
It is amusing, really, how those who torture are spewing nothing but the message that reads clearly, "We are hypocrites". When a "terrorist" is held captive, he is usually tortured since he must magically know everything regarding the plans of the aggressors towards the country that he was sent to harm. Amazingly enough, all drones who were sent out to perform terrorist attacks are either relatively young, and definately extremely naïve. Supposedly, this terrorist came to hurt somebody, and instead of keeping him captive, or trying to reason with him, his eyes are covered, and he is lined up with chains to keep his appendages from any free movement. He is also later beaten to within an inch of death. Yet, he is still the "bad guy". Dealing damage to this barbarian does not make those inflicting those wounds any less barbaric. Thus, this entire argument that boils down to 'anything goes' demands from me to conclude, that those who initiate and intend torture shall not under any circumstance claim to be protecting anything, but their savage need to 'payback' the bad guys, in a manner that is obviously just as wrong.
'The ends justify the means', it is for self defence, and look, these are mere scare tactics to scare the bad guys! My family's safety is all that matters, and if my family is in fact, in danger, then the ends definately justify the means. These are a few excuses spewed from people who support torture, and if it were not obvious, all excuses maintain a childish, animalistic air to them, as opposed to a sensible one, when at the same time attempting to protect sensibility itself:
No State may permit or tolerate torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. Exceptional circumstances such as a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency may not be invoked as a justification of torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. (UN Declaration on Protection Against Torture 1975).
It is odd that the countries claiming to protect the United Nations' charter are the ones breaking the 'rules' that they agreed to comply with, as members of the world's council. The United States of America, a nation that has claimed to protect the UN sanctions, and has often sought after 'advising' countries which do not comply with other UN decrees, is, ironically breaking the cited declaration above. Just recently, the United States announced that it is is seeking to create a facility to detain suspects of terrorism for an indefinite period of time, due to lack of evidence. Most of the detainees that will be kept in that facility will be moved from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. (Priest). One can only worry about such a place being created, since it is almost painfully obvious that the people that will be held in that place will be tortured just as much, if not more than the unlucky suspects in Guantanamo Bay.
World citizens do not deserve to be tortured. No matter what the goals behind taking hold of a person and constantly abusing them in the name of obtaining information for self-defense, no thing deserves to be pushed to the limits of its existance only to be pulled back into life. We might as well allow for mass murder to be a method of exterminating enemies, since it seems far more pleasant than having to be stapled to the floor for days on end. One would not be surprised if mass murder was to become a forced, and accepted method to use during war.
Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture. “After-Effects of Torture”. Retrieved 4 Jan.
Hitler.org. “World War 2 Death Count”. Retrieved 4 Jan. 2005
Knight, Ben. “Claims of torture in Guantanamo Bay”. ABC Online Home. 2003.
Retrieved 4 Jan. 2005 < http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2003/s
Phillips, Richard. “New Guantanamo Bay torture allegations incriminate Australian
Government”. World Socialist Web Site. 2004. Retrieved 4 Jan. 2005.
Priest, Dana. “US seeks lifetime jail for suspects”. The Age. 2005. Retrieved 4 Jan.
United Nations. “Protection of All Persons from Torture and
Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.” United Nations
Charter. 1975. Retrieved 4 Jan. 2005 < http://www.ccvt.org/torture.html >.
Just something I had laying around from last semester. Might as well share the perspective.