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How Far Is Too Far? Essay

592 words - 3 pages

The Oxford Dictionary defines a terrorist as someone who uses terrorism in their pursuit of political ambitions (Terrorist, n.d.). The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) identifies two types of terrorism: international and domestic. Both are comprised of acts in violation of federal or state law that are violent or dangerous to human life, and seem aimed to influence a government or civilian population. In fact, according to the FBI, the only difference between these two types of terrorism is that domestic occurs “within the territorial jurisdiction of the U.S.”, while international occurs chiefly outside of the United States’ jurisdiction or transcends national boundaries in some manner (Terrorism, n.d.). Those who are suspected or found guilty of terrorism may be subjected to torture, or as the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) prefers to call it, enhanced (McCoy, 2006) or coercive (Soldz, 2008) interrogation. Oxford Dictionary classifies torture as the act or practice of exacting severe pain, bodily or psychological anguish, or anxiety on a person as punishment or in order to force them to say or do something (Torture, n.d.). The word interrogate, on the other hand, means to closely, forcefully, or officially ask questions of someone, especially a suspect or prisoner (Interrogate, n.d.). Considering that coercive is defined as something/someone “relating to or using force or threats” (Coercive, n.d.), it isn’t much of a surprise to see it used to describe a type of interrogation.
Alfred McCoy (2006) states that the CIA initially began researching torture in the 1950s. In the beginning, many of their attempts failed. However, ambiguous CIA-funded behavioral experiments eventually yielded findings that contributed to the unearthing of “a distinctly American form of torture: psychological torture” (McCoy, 2006). This is how the torture...

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