Donald Trump has run on a lot of crazy campaign platforms during the election, but he still managed to win the presidency. One of his most controversial campaign ideas was to bring back waterboarding. This is an interrogation technique used against suspected terrorist to force them to tell the truth.
It is a form of torture where a cloth is placed on the face of the suspect up until he decides to speak up. Unless he does so, the water may block his nasal passages and have hard time breathing. It is not meant to kill the person, but to coerce him to speak up and provide revealing information to the government.
Not only was waterboarding inhumane, it was also ineffective. It was widely used during the Bush administration, especially when they started searching for people who could have been behind the 9/11 attack. Under the Obama administration, the Senate voted to outlaw waterboarding and all other forms of torture.
A lot of defense officials and military personnel also suggested putting an end to torture. They didn’t find it useful at all. If anything, it has placed American soldiers fighting in other countries in danger of experiencing the same thing.
Here are some more arguments against human torture, and why Trump can’t convince bringing the technique back.
1. It is illegal in international law
If Trump forces the government to bring back torture, he will then be in violation of international laws. It has been found by experts that the technique is inhumane. It also causes permanent damages that are usually irreversible. It is worsened if the person who has gone through the traumatic experience was eventually found guilty. They become violent and are unable to maintain a normal life.
2. It may provide false intelligence
The problem when people are under torture is they will do anything to get out of the situation. They might even speak up or sell out the people they are working with. The question is, how reliable are their statements? As the adage goes, desperate times call for desperate measures. The information they have provided does not necessarily bring anything significant to the intelligence officials. It could even confuse them especially if wrong information was provided.
3. It affects the reputation of the country
In Trump’s mind, bringing waterboarding back makes him look strong. In reality, it makes the entire country look small. Instead of being looked up by other countries for their efforts to combat terrorism, they are looked down even further. It could dampen their efforts to put an end to terrorism or bring terrorists to justice.
4. It may help terrorist groups justify their causes
Groups like ISIS feed on misinformation and false propaganda. They would love it if there are more Muslims suspected as terrorists going through torture. They can go back to their base and say that they are doing the right thing in fighting against Western propaganda. They can claim that their religion is under attack by the West and they have to keep retaliating. They can show statements of politicians favoring torture or images of suspects under torture.
5. People may be tortured just for fun
The worst part in using torture is that it can be abused. The justification is to get intelligence information from the suspects, but in reality, it may be used just to satisfy the cravings of some military officials for power. They are also under stress especially if they need to report the progress of their efforts to the people. To let go of their emotional burden, they might keep torturing suspected terrorists. Again, these people are still under trial and may be innocent. Even if they are guilty, they still have human rights, and torture is totally unjustifiable.
We are in an age where torturing human beings must no longer be debated. We have seen the negative impacts of torture through the years. A lot of people have lived like hell because they became victims of abuse. We can never find justice by forcing other people to speak through torture. There are other ways to make criminals pay for what they have done.