|Type of paper:
|United States Justice Human rights
Enhanced Interrogation techniques are programs involving the torture of individuals. In these programs, suspects detained by the Central Intelligent Agency (CIA) and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), are subjected to severe interrogations. Enhanced interrogation is carried out in areas known as black sites such as Bagram, Guantanamo Bay, and Abu Ghraib. President George W Bush once stated that the Central Intelligence Agency spared heaps of lives by utilizing the improved cross-examination strategies to obtain data from suspects yet does not torment individuals. On the other hand, his successor, President Barrack Obama condemned the Central Intelligence Agency interrogation technique labeling it as a dark and painful chapter in the history of the United States. Therefore, enhanced interrogation techniques have been a prominent issue in the United States current and even previous government administrations. Bush and Obama acted as a clear example of how different governments handled the same matter with some supporting the use of enhanced interrogation techniques and others opposing it. As such, while many people are quick to support the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, many do not realize that the methods are illegal, inhumane and may lead to false information.
The constitution bounds the interrogators in the United States in the fourth, fifth, eighth and fourteenth amendments protecting suspects from torture. Use of torture and abuse as a technique of interrogation is illegal under both the United States law and the internal law (Epstein et al.). Markedly, both the central intelligence agency and defense intelligence agency are also under another a set of rules known as federal laws which are also against the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. Besides, every citizen and non-citizen is entitled to a fair and just trial in the courts of law, making it improper and unconstitutional to subject any suspect to torture even before their trial.
A Senate Intelligence Committee report, which was released mid-year of 2009 was expected to produce little proof that the Central Intelligence Agency enhanced-interrogation program prompted any significant achievements in the war on terrorism. In the report, the Central Intelligence Agency inspector general found no proof that enhanced interrogation stopped any incoming attacks from terrorists (Blakeley 547). The report could neither ascertain nor add any belief towards whether the method obtained reliable information which the Agency could not get using alternative means. In essence, this shows that the Central Intelligence Agency relied upon the evaluations that were at times not supported by credible intelligence, and thus led to the use of enhanced interrogation techniques without enough or any justification. Principally, this is an abuse of power by the law enforcers towards the same people they swore to protect. According to the report, enhanced interrogation does more harm than good in the end.
Admittedly, enhanced interrogation techniques put the lives of many civilians at risk. For instance, some terrorists are trained on how to cope with enhanced interrogation techniques. In some circumstances, they are required to divert attention away from them by accusing innocent persons. Also, terrorists on some occasions have ended up blaming people with key positions in the society with the aim of framing them for a crime in which they never participated. Hence, when the suspect has had too much pain, they may give wrongful information to get some relief while implicating innocent civilians (Lewis et al. 6). Therefore, enhanced interrogation in the United States brings more harm than good to the citizens since one may have to undergo this inhumane way to prove their innocence.
Undoubtedly, the practice of enhanced interrogation techniques violates the moral, rules and regulations stated in the United States Constitution. The introduction of this particular method of interrogation brought forward the loss of some of the United States moral high ground. The former president of the United States, Barrack Obama stated, 'These techniques did significant damage to America's stand in the world and made it harder to pursue the country's interests" (Jackson). Also, President Obama signed an executive order banning various enhanced interrogation techniques on his second day in office. Senator Feinstein passed his remarks on the Senate floor stating, "It is not only the American values and moral codes that are at stake" which shows what some leaders think about enhanced interrogation (Jackson). Therefore, under no circumstances should a suspect be devalued because they are in trouble with the law and no law enforcer is exempted from the requirement.
Enhanced interrogation techniques involve stress-inducing measures which impair the memory of the suspect. Suspects who have been deprived of sleep and stressed tend to forget. As stated by Par Anders Granhag, a clinician at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden, and a leading researcher on lie detection and interrogation, "At the point when individuals are focused and restless, they will, in general, recollect less well," (Schneiderman). In other words, suspects under stress will forget import details. Charles Morgan, a professor at Yale, carried out a study which looked into the troubling moments of the military personnel deprived of basic needs and sleep for about 48hrs during survival training. The military workers were subjected to both low and high-stress interrogation measures, and it was observed that they were unable to remember the face of their interrogator a day after a high-stress interrogation (Eidelson). The study provides evidence that enhanced interrogation is harmful and leads to false or wrongful information. Suspects subjected to such treatments end up having mental illness due to the severity of the examinations.
Furthermore, enhanced interrogation is ineffective and therefore should be banned altogether. In a post published by Washington on January 2007; "There is no logical proof to back up the U.S. knowledge network's utilization of questionable cross-examination methods in the battle against terrorism, and specialists believe some excruciating and coercive methodologies could obstruct the capacity to get great data, as indicated by another report from an intelligence advisory group" (Tate). In essence, this makes enhanced interrogation to be considered as a good example of right 's likelihood to anti-intellectualism, discarding of science and the treatment of a corporation superior to real scientific proof. Suspects undergoing torture may confess to anything so that they may escape the pain. False accusations and statements may pile up because detainees get tortured yet they are not guilty. For example, the Central Intelligence Agency used waterboarding as a form of enhanced interrogation technique multiple times against the 9/11 Khalid Shaikh Mohammed in 2003 and 2002 against Abu Zubaydah. However, only Abu Zubaydah confessed in under a minute" (Schneiderman). Thus, proposing cases of enhanced interrogation techniques effectiveness are sketchy and overstated by a legislature that upheld their use.
According to public polls data focusing on American citizens' opinion on enhanced interrogation techniques, it was established that a majority of the citizens were strongly opposed to the methods. Precisely, the aggregated mean of those in opposition to this method of interrogation was 56.14% compared to only 39.43% who were in favor of the cruel process of inquiry (Gronke et al. 440). Another poll conducted among the marines and army soldiers collected responses to when torture is justified. Again, both groups were against torture with only 39 marines in support of the techniques while 61 opposed it. Similarly, 36 army soldiers were in favor of enhanced interrogation compared to 64 who termed it unnecessary (Phillips 55). Apparently, these surveys underpin the fact that enhanced interrogation techniques are cruel and inhumane; thus, they are not necessary.
On the other hand, proponents of enhanced interrogation argue that it has saved lives in some occasions. For instance, there are situations in which the suspects give up vital information which in turn is used by the law enforcers to counter-attack their enemies, therefore improving the countries overall security by eliminating possible threats before they occur. While this is a positive contribution of enhanced interrogation techniques, it remains to be inhumane since it involves some form of torture which no human should go through.
Therefore, as demonstrated herein, enhanced interrogation techniques are unreliable and inhumane. Allowing the law enforcers to use such measures towards the suspects devalues the government and the country as a whole. Most importantly, the law enforcers are losing vital information that could help in strengthening the security of the state through enhanced interrogation. Notably, in some parts of the country, innocent civilians get into trouble because they are implicated by suspects who are undergoing enhanced interrogation. Moreover, various studies and report also indicate that enhanced interrogation is inhumane based on its consequences. Undoubtedly, as far as the evidence goes, the cons of enhanced interrogation outweigh the pros, which demonstrates that this form of questioning should come to an end.
Blakeley, Ruth. "Dirty hands, clean conscience? The CIA inspector general's investigation of "enhanced interrogation techniques" in the war on terror and the torture debate." Journal of Human Rights, vol. 10, no. 4, 2011, pp. 544-561.
"CIA Tactics: What Is 'Enhanced Interrogation'?" BBC News, BBC, 10 Dec. 2014, www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-11723189.
Eidelson, Roy. "Neuroscience, Special Forces, and Ethics at Yale." Psychology Today, Sussex Publishers, 6 Mar. 2013, www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/dangerous-ideas/201303/neuroscience-special-forces-and-ethics-yaleEpstein, Lee, and Thomas G. Walker. Constitutional law for a changing America: Rights, liberties, and justice. CQ press, 2018.
Feinstein, Dianne. The Senate Intelligence Committee Report on Torture: Committee Study of the Central Intelligence Agency's Detention and Interrogation Program. Melville House, 2014.
Gronke, Paul, et al. "US public opinion on torture, 2001-2009." PS: political science & politics, vol. 43, no.3, 2010, pp. 437-444.
Jackson, David. "Sen. Feinstein's Full Remarks on CIA Torture Report." USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 9 Dec. 2014, www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2014/12/09/dianne-feinstein-cia-torture-report-full-remarks/20151977/.
Lewis, Charles, and Mark Reading-Smith. "False pretenses." The Center for Public Integrity 23 (2008).
Phillips, Joshua ES. None of us were like this before: American soldiers and torture. Verso Books, 2012.
"President Donald J. Trump's State of the Union Address." The White House, The United States Government, 30 Jan. 2018, www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/president-donald-j-trumps-state-union-address/.
Schneiderman, R.M. "New Research Suggests Enhanced Interrogation Not Effective." The Daily Beast, The Daily Beast Company, 25 May 2012, www.thedailybeast.com/new-research-suggests-enhanced-interrogation-not-effective?ref=scroll.
Tate, Julie. "The CIA's Use of Harsh Interrogation." The Washington Post, WP Company, www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/national/cia-interrogation-report/timeline/?noredirect=on.
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