September 11, 2001, is a moment frozen in time. It was on this day that the world seemed to stop turning, and its course would never be the same again. It was the day of the largest organized attack on American citizens that took the lives of 2,976 innocent everyday people (attention grabber). It not only destroyed buildings, it destroyed lives. Not only the innocent lives of the thousands murdered in the burning buildings were destroyed, but the lives of their families were destroyed, and their hearts became filled with hurt and loss.
As a result of this unthinkable attack on our country, the lives of thousands of American Soldiers and their families would soon be affected as well The war that 9/11 spun Americans and the rest of the world into was not a regular war in a regular country with regular soldiers. This war was one in which our brave men and women took on a radical religious band of terrorists who hide in caves, hide behind women and children, and strap bombs to themselves just to harm and terrorize others.
These people continue to threaten American safety and liberty each and every day and were responsible for the most bloodshed on American soil in a single act of war. These people want nothing more than to harm innocent people and their families and will stop at nothing to do so. So when these terrorists who wear no uniforms and claim no country are captured, some argue that they deserve to be treated humanely. The fact is, they have information that could save thousands of American lives.
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However, they are so passionate about their cause; such information is not easily obtained. Therefore, the United States has the right to torture prisoners of war (suspected terrorists) in order to acquire vital information that is required to protect our country and its citizens. Terrorists are not regular soldiers in a regular war. They do not even merit POW (prisoner of war) status as stated by the Geneva Convention passed by the United Nations and approved by the Supreme Court.
Colin Powell stated that “bestowing POW status on detainees who do not meet the clear requirements of the Geneva Convention would undermine the rule of law giving equal protections and privileges to all combatants regardless to their respect to the law. ” This is not a regular war because we are not fighting against a country; we are fighting religious extremists. Terrorists are not part of an organized military, have no uniforms, and do not represent a country or legitimate state, and therefore, are not protected nor deserved to be rotected under the Geneva Convention. Despite the agreed Geneva Convention, this nine-year war has resulted in different opinions on how protocol should be run halfway across the globe in our country. A very prominent issue between politicians today is the issue of torture. Torture sounds like a horrible word, and when spoken the thought of inhumane treatment, pain, and misery come to mind. But there are different forms and types of torture that are not so cruel.
The United States has been accused of using a form of torture on suspected terrorists known as stress and duress. But this form of torture is, as defined by the Supreme Court, neither inappropriate nor inhumane by any means. (establish credibility/ source #2, quote supreme court) “Stress and duress is a form of torture that includes: psychological and physical pressure on suspects through methods such as sleep deprivation, covering head with hood to cause disorientation, and pinning prisoners in uncomfortable positions for hours. ” This is considered a form of torture.
It is sad to think that American citizens who are more worried about being politically correct than the safety of our country and their friends and neighbors are speaking out against these insignificant pushes that soldiers perform on prisoners of war. Videos come out from Iraq and Afghanistan of terrorists slowly cutting off the heads of our brave men and women protecting freedom. It is odd to think that terrorists decapitate and inhumanely kill and murder our soldiers and there is fuss when our soldiers keep a terrorist with American blood on his hands deprived of sleep for a week.
It is nice to know that our country still cares about and supports our men and women in uniform. As stated by a poll conducted by Rasmussen (source #3): “58% of U. S. voters say water boarding and other aggressive interrogation techniques should be used to gain information from the terrorist who attempted to bomb an airline on Christmas Day. ” (Rasmussen) T hat means that over half of our nation supports interrogation methods that are more severe than the methods that others in this country are upset about.
Also, the military is not torturing terrorists just to torture them because they do not like them or want revenge. Terrorists are being “tortured” for information such as future plots, hiding places, sources of weapons, etcetera that is needed to simply protect our men and women overseas and our citizens who call this great country home. Some opposition goes so far as to demand American rights for terrorists who want to kill Americans and who hate this country.
A Counsel member for Human Rights Watch, Katherine Bierman, (cite source #4) is quoted saying “If you’re going to sentence them, there has to be a fair trial [this] amounts to nothing more extravagant than giving the defendant the chance to defend himself, not forcing him to incriminate himself and insuring he’s not tortured-- the elements of what an ordinary citizen would consider a fair trial. ” (quoted in Katel 6) There are many scary and utterly ridiculous elements in this quote.
First, as established above, “torture” is not being used on suspected terrorists-- they are using stress and duress to extract information. Secondly, terrorists openly express their hate for this country and say they are proud of their actions; none have incriminated themselves by nothing more than the truth. A terrorist is not going to bluntly admit to something he/she did not do, even if he was severely tortured which they are not. Government documentation, the definition of the word torture, and 58% of our nation can prove that. Not to mention, a trial is costly.
To fly a terrorist to our country to have a so-called “fair trial” is ridiculous and costs the people of this nation hard earned money to have this man put on trial. Not only is it costly, but it brings him/her into the country that his leaders and fellow terrorists spilt blood in. It is not only ethically incorrect to pay American money for these terrorists to have American rights; it is unconstitutional to not give someone a fair trial. Can someone realistically say that a terrorist will receive a fair trial in the country he tried to commit terrorist acts against?
What jury of American citizens would find this man innocent? What judge will set him free? And even if by some horrible miracle this murderer is set free- what happens to him? Does he freely walk our streets, or do our citizens spend yet more money to fly this man back home so he can go back to plotting against us? Finally these are not ordinary citizens, let alone even citizens. By no means does a foreign murderer against our citizens get the luxury of the rights he would have if he were a citizen.
As stated by an American General Tommy Franks (source citation) , “I don’t want a soldier when he kicks down a door in a hut in Afghanistan searching for Osama bin Laden to have to worry about whether when he does so and questions the individuals he finds inside who may or may not be bin Laden’s body guards, or even the individual himself- he’s got to advise them of their rights before he takes a statement” (quoted in Katel 6). “If you are intentionally inflicting pain on someone, then you are torturing them period,” (Masci 5) Human Rights leaders declare.
But the politically correct opposition fails to determine the definition of pain. Pain is defined in the dictionary as (source dictionary) “the acutely unpleasant physical discomfort experienced by somebody who is violently struck, injured, or ill. ” When a linebacker sacks the quarterback in a football game and puts the quarterback out of the game for a little bit with a rolled ankle, did he torture him? Or when children are playing dodge ball at school and a child is given a bloody nose, did the child who threw it torture the other child? Absolutely not. My point?
Torture is inhumane treatment that causes severe and sometimes permanent damage to another human being through psychological threats and physical beatings, not by sleep deprivation. There is a difference between torture and inhumane treatment. Causing someone stress or discomfort is not torture. Terrorists are a serious threat to our nation, citizens, beliefs, and safety. They do not deserve our rights, trials, and should be “tortured” by means of stress which is considered humane. The United States will not stoop to our enemy’s level and cruelly and brutally torture our prisoners of war.
The time of war is not the time to be politically correct, but the time to take a step back and look at the big picture, the one in which our country has the right to freedom win the war on terror so the world will be a safer place. It is up to us to maintain and protect our freedom and safety. These are the facts, and these are the views of opinions from both sides of this fragile issue. Now you know, and it is important as American citizens to be informed and aware so we can elect people that will do the right thing in our eyes and defend freedom in the way you see it best.
Works Cited Barber, Ben. "The POW Predicament. The American Legion. 1 Aug. 2002: (pg 1). Career and Technical Education, ProQuest. Canyon Ridge High School Library. 17 Feb. 2010. < http://proquest. umi. com Katel, Peter, and Kenneth Jost. "Treatment of Detainees. " CQ Researcher 16: 29 (25 Aug 2006): 673-696. (pg6) CQ Researcher Online. 17 Feb. 2010 . Masci, David, and Patrick Marshall. "Civil Liberties in Wartime. " CQ Researcher 11: 43 (14 Dec 2001): 1017-1040. CQ Researcher. 17 Feb. 2010 . Masci, David. "Torture. " CQ Researcher. 13: 15 (18 April 2003): 345-368. (pg 3, 4,5) CQ Researcher. 17 Feb. 2010. http://library. cqpress. com/cqresearcher/cqresrre2003041800
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