In the past several years since the tragic day of September 11th, 2001, the talk about terrorism has been nonstop. The War on Terror began and the government has expressed constant deliberation about how to ensure a similar attack will never happen again. One of the huge topics revolves around the use of torture on suspected terrorists. In 2002, the head of the CIA counterterrorist center stated, “There was a before 9/11 and an after 9/11. After 9/11 gloves come off” (Priest and Gellman). This statement expresses pretty vividly the attitude the CIA had toward suspected terrorists after the attack, and in a country that just experienced a great loss, most would not think of questioning it. The use of torture on suspected terrorists, while sometimes seemingly justifiable, violates a person’s basic human rights and creates distrust of the United States in the eyes of the rest of the world.
Any connection between a country and the use of torture is going to immediately create a distrust of the country for outsiders. A prime example of the recognition of this is when President Obama, in 2009, placed the FBI in charge of interrogating suspected terrorists abroad. The reason in this being that there is more worldwide trust of the FBI than the CIA, the agency formerly in charge, because of the CIA’s reputation of the use of torture. Because the FBI typically performs its duties within the United States’ boundaries, risqué interrogation techniques are not something that they can successfully use without threat of legal troubles. The FBI is known to use tactics very similar to that which a parent might use with their children, focusing more on rewards than simply punishment. To get information from suspected terrorists, the FBI has been known to offer rewards such as medical procedures for loved ones, opportunities for their children, financial rewards, or the chance to live a better life in America (Rangappa). This method not only gains the information that we are after, but also creates a trust of the United States and one more ally.
Undoubtedly, there are people who, no matter what is offered, will not betray their country. In this situation is it okay to use torture? Some say yes, but why? That act coming from an American is held up with great honor by most Americans. So why should it differ for someone of a different origin? This person, no matter how they are labeled by Americans, are doing the same thing our American agents are doing for us, doing what they can to protect their own country. If their objective is going to hurt our country it is only natural to want to stop them. But we must do this with respect of every person’s natural human rights. What we call terrorism is often a person doing what we praise our own for doing.
A Current US national security official who supervises the capture and transport of accused terrorists states that, “If you don’t violate someone’s human rights some of the time, you probably aren’t doing your job” (Priest and Gellman). When these suspected terrorists are tortured, their human rights are ignored. The main purpose of human rights is the fact that is applies to all human rights. Any condition…