maya hist 4 - Ethics of Torture: Guantanamo Bay Guantanamo...

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Unformatted text preview: Ethics of Torture: Guantanamo Bay Guantanamo Maya DeJoie A Brief History Brief llocated on southeastern tip of ocated Cuba Cuba only U.S. base located in a only communist country communist Haitian refugees early 1990s – vital haven for early as of 2002 during War on Terror as – detention center base used to house those base suspected of terrorist activity or of having ties to al-Qaeda and the Taliban the Who is being tortured? Who Insurgent or revolutionary--the people who are Insurgent being tortured are rebelling against an overbearing power overbearing Understanding their paradigms--Piaget says that Understanding we have our set of ethics by the age of 12. Relates to human sciences (psychology, anthropology, sociology). anthropology, Many innocent people have been detained -775 total have been brought to Gitmo, -775 420 have been released without charges 420 Treatment of prisoners Treatment Qur’an defilement Alleged murders Small cells “Eye for an eye”--they plotted against Eye Americans, so they lose their rights Americans, Guards taking their anger out on prisoners See: Star Fox in Iraq Ethics of torture Justification for: ”I was waterboarded during SERE (Survival, ”I Evasion, Resistance, Escape) Training as a new Naval Aviator prior to reporting to my first squadron. The purpose of this training was to prepare naval aviators for what they may experience if captured during a time of war. This training was based on the experiences of Naval Aviators and others who had been prisoners during the Viet Nam War. Mr. Mukasey is correct in his assertion that stating what types of interrogation techniques we will or will not employ, allows the enemy to prepare for these interrogation during their training.” these Justification for cont…. Justification Cheney point of view: “In my mind, the foremost obligation we had from a moral or an ethical standpoint In was to the oath of office we took when we were sworn in, on January 20 of 2001, to protect and defend against all enemies foreign and domestic. And that’s what we’ve done.” we’ve “I think it would have been unethical or immoral for us not to do everything we think could in order to protect the nation against further attacks like what happened on 9/11.” 9/11.” Bush point of view: “…the techniques were necessary and are necessary to be used on a the rare occasion to get information necessary to protect the American people.” people.” O’Reilly point of view: O’Reilly “If it were illegal, Bush and Cheney would have been arrested. You’re If sitting authorities, the attorney general ruled waterboarding was not torture. Rare occasion it was used.” torture. Ethics of torture cont… Ethics Justification against “Guantanamo Bay, for most people, is a lightning rod for everything that’s mo wrong with the United States.” – Scott Silliman (law professor at Duke and director of the Center on Law, Ethics, and National Security) director Obama statement that the U.S. does not torture abiding by the Geneva Conventions "We must adhere to our values as diligently as we protect our safety "We with no exceptions." Olbermann “This is the people’s democracy, we are the people, these are our This elected officials. That they did not come to us and ask us thusly in our names is unfortunate, indeed criminal, but it is also almost irrelevant. They work for us, they tortured people, and so, we have tortured people.” people.” Justifications of ethics Justifications Both use emotion -Fear versus empathy Both use logic -Which one is going to protect us more? -Which (both sides have some egocentricity) Hedonism, utilitarianism As Piaget said, a large part of our ethics (our As “moral compass”) is determined during our childhood--Knowers’ perspectives childhood--Knowers’ -Growing up in a military family -growing up with a religion (such as -growing Buddhism) that prohibits harm to anyone Buddhism) Other views Other “ticking time bomb scenario” you know something that is important, so we’re going to get it out you of you of standard response = “whatever it takes” to get info. utilitarian view moral worth of an action = determined by its contribution to the moral happiness or satisfaction among all the people happiness Is the torturing of one life justified if it could save several lives? deontological view determines goodness or rightness from examining acts Although both sides of the debate can be Although Universality of ethics? Universality justified in their own respects, and although ethics are largely amibiguous, history seems to show that there is some universiality in ethics ethics -Geneva Conventions -Nuremberg trials - is waterboarding -Nuremberg torture? torture? -John Locke -The Constitution/Declaration of -The Independence (“we hold these truths…”) Independence Others would say, however, that ethics do not Others transcend across time periods (Limbaugh? Bush?) Logical fallacies Logical Slippery slope Straw man Poisoning the well False Analogy See: Bill O’Reilly video False Authority Prosecution and legality Prosecution Legality of authorization See: Daily Show :39 torture warrants would establish limits on the techniques that would interrogators may use interrogators would torture warrants make torture any more legal? “If torture is the only means of obtaining the information If necessary to prevent the detonation of a nuclear time bomb in Times Square, torture should be used—and will be used—to obtain the information…no one who doubts that this is the case should be in a position of responsibility.” – Richard Posner (judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for Seventh Circuit) of Implications in the real world Implications Are we safer as a result of Are torture? torture? -Abu Ghraib graffiti -Abu -Government transparency (summer 2009) 2009) Are all people created Are equal?--do we have the right to break certain laws when we see it necessary when Why can’t they be tried in Why the same way we can and kept on American soil? kept Political bias affecting ethics Conclusions Conclusions According to Piaget, in order to come up with According any lasting solution, both sides must have the same amount of power so that they can listen to each other each U.N. Security council dominated by original 5, U.N. have power to veto, U.S. trying to gain more power, nations not in the big 5 are screwed out of power. of Our verdict: Unethical--goes against universal Our ethics, laws, has logical fallacies, and was was potentially authorized illegally ...
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This note was uploaded on 03/29/2011 for the course HISTORY 2110 taught by Professor Phoenix during the Spring '11 term at Georgia State University, Atlanta.

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