Essay on Torture: Abuse and Senator Mccain

Submitted By westonshelly
Words: 1582
Pages: 7

First Name, Last Name
Essay #2 - Torture Discussion Essay
Instructor, Margaret Anderson
ENG-111
Torture – An Unnecessary Evil

At issue are whether torture should be permissible, and what the implications of said permissibility are to foreign nations. For this discussion, “torture” is defined as a non-lethal means of extracting information from a suspected malefactor for the purpose of using that information to save innocent lives in an emergency situation, or “ticking time bomb” scenario, wherein numerous lives would be immediately lost if such torture were was administered. Any “torture” which is delivered by lethal violence, including beating, burning, kicking, and which would result in death or permanent disability, or any form of sexual humiliation, is unconscionable, as well as unconstitutional, and is excluded for the purpose of this discussion. There are four international treaties, known as the Geneva Convention, that protect civilians and certain combatants during times of war and political conflict. The first treaty of the Geneva Convention was ratified to protect humanitarian workers and establish protocols for the treatment of casualties of war. The second treaty is an extension of the terms of the first. The third treaty deals with prisoners of war and provides that they must be “humanely treated” and prohibits any act or omission by the detainer “causing death or seriously endangering the health of the prisoner of war.” Further, prisoners “must, at all times, be protected…against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.” The Third treaty also provides, in pertinent part, that “Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind.” The Fourth treaty “prohibits violence to life and person, in particular murder of all kinds, mutilation, cruel treatment, and torture…outrages upon personal dignity, in particular humiliating and degrading treatment.” It is interesting to note that a portion of the Third and Fourth treaties of the Geneva Convention provides more protection, in regard to humiliating, degrading, unpleasant, and disadvantageous treatment, to prisoner’s of war, who may have killed American soldiers and murdered American civilians, than is provided to prisoners in our penal institutions that house American criminal offenders. I have personal knowledge of the humiliation and degradation imposed upon incarcerated individuals because my mother served time in Rockville Correction Facility in Indiana. In fact, my mother tells me that the processing regimen for incoming offenders, from being assigned a DOC number which serves as your only identity during your incarceration, to the invasive strip searches, the initial restriction of bathroom privileges and constant confinement except to get into formation to attend “chow,” is purposely designed to psychologically degrade and humiliate a prisoner into submission. It is fundamentally understood that, as a prison inmate in a state Department of Corrections, you will be subject to humiliation and that a prison sentence, in itself, is degrading by its very nature. My mother, who was convicted of arson wherein no one was harmed, was housed alongside women convicted of murder and armed robbery. Although inmates are assigned an offender “level,” and each serve a different term of sentence, the conditions in which the time is served is the same, regardless of the offense. In his The Case for Torture, Michael Levin states that “There are situations in which torture is not merely permissible but morally mandatory.” Mr. Levin then sets forth different versions of unlikely, extreme scenarios that fit his “situations” which he concludes would morally mandate the use of torture. The first proposes “what if” a terrorist, who planted an atomic bomb in Manhattan Island which is set to detonate at 12:00 noon, is…