Torture and Ethics
Larry Fulse
April 25, 2016
Monty Spencer

      Since – 911, torture has been official US policy by George Bush at the highest levels of government. On September 17, 2001, George Bush signed a secret finding empowering CIA to “Capture, Kill, or Interrogate Al-Queda Leaders.”(Lendman, 2008). It also authorized establishing secret global facilities to detain and interrogate them without guidelines on proper treatment. In the same time, Bush approved a secret “high – value target list” of about two dozen names. He also gave CIA free reign to capture, kill and interrogate terrorists that were not on the list (Lendman, 2008). What is torture: (a) the intentional infliction of extreme physical pain or suffering on some now non – consenting, defenseless person; (b) the intentional, substantial curtailment of the exercise of a person`s autonomy (achieved by means of (a); (c) in general, undertaken for the purpose of breaking the victim`s will.” We will discuss terrorism and torture, look at arguments for and against each practice, and ethically evaluate those arguments (Lendman, 2008).
      If pain is meant to break the will of person, one must ask when we might have an interest in doing so. Certainly violating the freedom through violence is not acceptable for citizens; I may not justifiably torture you to obtain what I want from you, be it your property, your behavior, or your ideological consent (Lendman, 2008). Also, the police may not torture to obtain information, as we have the right to defend ourselves in a court of law, and the courts may not inflict pain as punishment for a crime, as there is a constitutional prohibition on cruel and unusual punishment (Lendman, 2008). The UN and the Geneva Convention prohibit torture in the war, because it is immoral to extract information through the infliction of intense pain and suffering, because all sides are likely to take prisoners of wars, and because no one wants their soldiers to be...