Torture - Thomann 1 Amanda Thomann Sisto Engl 102-30...

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Thomann 1 Amanda Thomann Sisto Engl 102-30 3-10-08 Torture: A Necessary Evil? Throughout history the definition of torture has succumbed to many changes. As Americans we have our own definition of what would be considered torture. Who is it that has given us this definition? President George W. Bush, who has regularly redefined this definition to fit the guidelines of the United States policies on interrogation, has created a new definition: “enhanced interrogation techniques” (Strong). Wikipedia’s definition of torture is one that I agree with. “Torture is any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession, punishing him for an act he or a third person has committed or is suspected of having committed, or intimidating or coercing him or a third person, or for any reason based on discrimination of any kind, when such pain or suffering is inflicted by or at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity. It does not include pain or suffering arising only from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions” (“Geneva”, Wikipedia). However, in wartime, the definitions of torture frequently change and it seems all definitions are supplied by the United States government. We have to ask ourselves, how is it fair to create a new name for those who are captured and to take away rights that any human should be afforded? Similarly the definition according to the Geneva Conventions is as follows: “No physical or mental torture, nor any other form of coercion, may be inflicted on prisoners of war to secure from them information of any kind whatever. Prisoners of war who refuse to answer may not be threatened, insulted, or exposed to any unpleasant or disadvantageous treatment of any kind…
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Thomann 2 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 (Wikipedia). One thing that we as American citizens have to keep in mind is that the Constitution gives that President the right to not only allow torture as an interrogation tactic, but he can change the definition of torture all together. Three things that we as American should keep in mind are the provisions of the Geneva Conventions, the rights of detainees in Guantanamo Bay, and the power in which the President of this great country is allowed. In the year 1949 the Geneva Conventions were drafted as a way to protect soldiers who become prisoners in a time of conflict. Basically soldiers who were captured were separated into the two main groups of either a combatant or a non-combatant. In order to even be afforded the protections of these treaties, the parties involved in the conflict must have been parties to the original drafting of the
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This note was uploaded on 11/15/2009 for the course GENERAL 101 taught by Professor Thomann during the Spring '09 term at Mott Community College.

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Torture - Thomann 1 Amanda Thomann Sisto Engl 102-30...

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