Wednesday, June 16, 2004

The Use of Torture

[US Politics] ThoughtsOnline asks the following (via Instapundit): "To those who claim that torture is wrong, I'll ask you the Michael Dukakis question: 'if torturing someone would provide information that would save your wife from death, would you approve of doing that?'. Don't evade the question by saying that torture doesn't work - soldiers aren't trained to resist torture because it doesn't work. And, if your answer is no, have you told your wife?"

This is the position that this administration and this war has put its supporters in: having to defend torture. In the hypothetical situation posed, I would certainly question him and do everything I could but I still don't think I would resort to the use of torture. In my gut, I simply feel that it is wrong.

To pose another hypothetical question: "If torturing a killer would extract a confession from him and put him behind bars for life and stop him from killing again, would you approve?" If so, we might as well implement this in our justice system now.

The biggest problem with approving the use of torture is that we cannot be surprised or outraged when it is used on our own soldiers. The enemy certainly would value their own lives highly and would use any means necessary to find out the plans of those seeking to attack them. If we use torture, then we must also accept it when they use torture. Such a strategy puts those in the front lines at much greater risk.