The Torture Myth, By Anne Applebaum

1009 words - 4 pages

In the article, “The Torture Myth,” Anne Applebaum explores the controversial topic of torture practices, focused primarily in The United States. The article was published on January 12, 2005, inspired by the dramatic increase of tensions between terrorist organizations and The United States. Applebaum explores three equality titillating concepts within the article. Applebaum's questions the actual effectiveness of using torture as a means of obtaining valuable information in urgent times. Applebaum explores the ways in which she feels that the United States’ torture policy ultimately produces negative effects upon the country. Applebaum's final question is if torture is not optimally successful, why so much of society believes it works efficiently.
Applebaum believes that torture should not be used as a means of gaining information from suspects. Applebaum's opinion is supported through details that the practice has not been proven optimally successful. After debating the topic, I have deliberated on agreeing with Applebaum's stance towards the torture policy. I personally agree with the thought to discontinue the practice of torture as a means of acquiring intel. I find it unacceptable that under the Bush Administration, the President decided prisoners to be considered exceptions to the Geneva Convention. As far as moral and ethical consideration, I do not believe that it is anyone's right to harm anyone else, especially if the tactic is not proven successful. After concluding an interview with Academic, Darius Rejali, Applebaum inserted that he had “recently trolled through French archives, found no clear examples of how torture helped the French in Algeria -- and they lost that war anyway.” There are alternative practices such as high-stress interrogation. Although the situation might present large-scale dangers, I do not think that it is anyone's right to exorcize, “cruel and unusual” investigative practices on anyone else. In such a situation as the “ticking time bomb” scenario, I think that it would be inconsistent to make an exception. With that said, there would undoubtedly raise a situation that, when weighted, the possible damage would greatly exceed the pain inflicted upon one person. I have been unable to deliberate on the appropriate alternative method for this particular dilemma. When it comes to the topic of torture, the popular attitude is that it is sometimes required. Where this agreement usually ends, however, is on the question of ethics and efficiency. Whereas some are convinced that it is an effective policy, others maintain that it is not successful practice. To further support the stance that the torture policy is not necessary effective, Army Col. Stuart Herrington inserted, in his experience, “nine out of ten people can be persuaded to talk with no 'stress methods' at all, let alone cruel and unusual ones.”
Applebaum's second argument for eliminating the torture policy is that it constantly...

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