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Ethics of War: Torture

Gabi, Dominique, Nathan, Patrick, and Kevin PHI 103
by

Gabriella Noweder

on 14 March 2013

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Transcript of Ethics of War: Torture

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Images from Shutterstock.com The Goal of Torture Within War To extract information that someone is withholding in order to benefit the one who is torturing. To what extent should torture be used?
The Group Consensus Some scholars have come to a different reasoning; that torture is regulated, not taken away. This would be a more pragmatic approach.

We believe that torture should be contained within those who are guilty of the evidence.
>>For example: if a subject was withholding information, and in order to extract this information, the torturer was going to kill his innocent wife or children. This is probably the most extreme that it can get; in other words it could be used as a last resort. A better example would to take the subject’s guilty accomplice, and threaten the life of him.

We feel that it would be better to gradually increase the torture level, rather than to go to immediate great lengths to get information. Ethics of War: Torture Nathan Bucholz
Kevin Hunt
Dominique Daniels
Patrick Hardwick
Gabriella Noweder Two definitions of torture: inflicting great pain; or severe mental anxiety and suffering. Ethics: A complex of moral precepts held or rules of conduct followed. Therefore, the ethics of torture would be...
the moral standards upheld within the process of inflicting physical pain and severe mental anxiety. How circumstances change ethics Ex 1: The subject is withholding information about nuclear weapons planted in major cities; one is tortured so that millions do not die
Ex 2: The subject is withholding information about the whereabouts of one innocent person, this person will die if not found; one is tortured so that another or few are saved. Is it ever right to torture?
If so, when? We came to the conclusion that there is no absolute answer to this. It depends on who is needing saving, if the torture is affects you personally (or someone you love), and for what reason. Article 5 of The Geneva Conventions of 1949 provides protection for enemy combatants and civilians, and also instructs that unlawful combatants must be “treated with humanity and...shall not be deprived of the rights of fair and regular trial” (Fourth Geneva Convention, Article 5). In the 1984 Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment says that “no exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability of any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture” (Article 2). But our own country has gone against these rules in times of war when it is for our “best interest.” What do you think? #4. The Wheel Methods of Torture throughout History Medieval torturers took the Hun’s stretching technique a step further
The victim would be pinned down onto a large wooden wheel and pushed off of a steep, mountainous hill to their inevitable death.
To make this even more painful, torturers would make them roll over fire or even metal spikes.
Often times, they would break all the victims limbs, using them as decoration within the spokes of the wheel.
Finally, the person still attached to the wheel would be hoisted at the top of a pole and left there for days until they die of either loss of blood (from the missing limbs) or heat-induced dehydration.
Was a public affair, everyone watched. The person is stripped naked with the mid-half of their body (usually waist, genitals, and thighs) inside a cage. Rats are released into the same cage where intense heat is applied. In attempt to escape, they chew through the person’s bowels and intestines.
Some torturers would take some skin off of the victim’s arms or legs so as to encourage the rats to eat.
Traditionally performed in China, altered by London.
Though using this method inherently led to death, the victim would suffer alive for many, many hours while the rats slowly dug their way through. #3. Rats Methods of Torture throughout History The act of skinning someone alive.
Popular during the Middle Ages and was used to rid the world of witches and criminals as well as to kill enemy soldiers in captivity. I
In its original form, the tortured individual would be completely stripped naked with their hands and feet tied. The executioners would slowly peel off their skin, typically starting with the face.
Most people die before they reach the waistline.
More contemporary version: submerging the person in boiling water so as to “loosen the skin” for peeling.
North Americans adopted this form of torture after a group of Indians during the various invasions of their land. #2. Flaying Methods of Torture throughout History Popularized in the 1800s during the Enlightenment
Lay on a flat surface (usually a table) while water is poured over their cloth-covered face, causing a drowning sensation.
Used by France, Japan, America, and many other countries
Modern-day waterboarding is typically used as an interrogation method and has taken many different forms; however, in the last 500 years, it has barely changed in practice.
In 2004, the use of waterboarding by Bush’s administration was revealed, and is now banned as an illegal form of interrogation under Obama. Vietnam, 1968 #1. Waterboarding Methods of Torture throughout History Sensory Derivation: Blindfolding and placing earmuffs on prisoners to cause a sense of time lose, which in prolonged periods can be a sanity-destroying experience
Starvation & Thirst: Only giving the prisoner enough water and unpleasant food to survive
Sleep Deprivation: Forcing a person to stay awake with blinding lights or disturbing loud noises
Waterboarding: Strapping down a prisoner and pouring water over there covered face, causes the sensation of drowning.
Stress positions: Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled in the floor, for more than 40 hours, causing the prisoners' weight to be placed on just one or two muscles. This creates an intense pain on the lower muscles Sensory Derivation: Blindfolding and placing earmuffs on prisoners to cause a sense of time lose, which in prolonged periods can be a sanity-destroying experience
Starvation & Thirst: Only giving the prisoner enough water and unpleasant food to survive
Sleep Deprivation: Forcing a person to stay awake with blinding lights or disturbing loud noises
Waterboarding: Strapping down a prisoner and pouring water over there covered face, causes the sensation of drowning.
Stress positions: Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled in the floor, for more than 40 hours, causing the prisoners' weight to be placed on just one or two muscles. This creates an intense pain on the lower muscles Sensory Derivation: Blindfolding and placing earmuffs on prisoners to cause a sense of time lose, which in prolonged periods can be a sanity-destroying experience
Starvation & Thirst: Only giving the prisoner enough water and unpleasant food to survive
Sleep Deprivation: Forcing a person to stay awake with blinding lights or disturbing loud noises
Stress positions: Prisoners are forced to stand, handcuffed and with their feet shackled in the floor, for more than 40 hours, causing the prisoners' weight to be placed on just one or two muscles. This creates an intense pain on the lower muscles Methods of Interrogation (Early 2000s) The CIA and Department of Defense used acts of hypothermia, stress positions and waterboarding.

Were used on thousands of prisoners after the 9/11 attacks and was controversial due to whether they had violated U.S. or international law with acts of torture

2005- The CIA destroyed many videotapes depicting prisoners being interrogated

Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder were certain that the techniques were torture although they declined to prosecute the CIA, DoD, or Bush administration

December 14, 2005, the Detainee Treatment Act was passed as a law which clarified that techniques were limited to those authorized by the Army Field Manual.

Some claim that the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed helped prevent a planned attack on Los Angeles in 2002 although he was not captured until 2003. Validations and Deaths Involving Torture Also known as "Torture Murder"
Torture in today's America is considered a necessary evil, an act that is bad inherently and morally wrong in action but justified for the greater good and protection of itself as a whole.
Torture is considered an extreme interrogation; simply the short term or threat of immediate or impending danger cancels out the ethical factor of non-torture methods.
Through media outlets the concept of torture and those being tortured are dehumanized and validated again for the greater good.
“U.S.” literally and figuratively against “them” enemies subject to variation (stereotype), unclassified change (background story, reason for capture-torture-or incarceration) , and identity is up for public demarcation (dehumanization). The reasoning behind torture through the ages has always been among three reasoning; Protection of self interest, protection of territory and cultural identity, and intimidation of enemies. It really makes you think...
Has humanity really changed since the 14th Century or has humanity become even more unethical in its evolution? American Teens Support Torture
>>>> Iraqi Recounts Aby Gbraib Abuse
<<<< References
Axtell, J., & Sturtevant, W. C. (2012). The unkindest cut, or who invented scalping. The William and Mary Quarterly, 37(3), 451-472. Retrieved from http://wp.stockton.edu/hist4690/files/2012/06/James-Axtell-The-Unkindest-Cut.pdf

Grabianowski, E. (n.d.). 10 medieval torture devices. Retrieved from http://history.howstuffworks.com/history-vs-myth/10-medieval-torture-devices4.htm

Head, T. (n.d.). American torture techniques. Retrieved from http://civilliberty.about.com/od/waronterror/p/torturelite

Stare, J. (2009, Mar 14). Torture at the hands of the cia. Retrieved from http://www.quit-torture-now.org/torturesnotus/pb/wp_10402ea6/wp_10402ea6.html

"Torture Should Be Allowed." Debatewise. Copyleft, 2007. Web. 11 Mar. 2013.

Weiner, E. (2007, November 3). Waterboarding: A tortured history. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=15886834
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