However, in truth, such incidences are rare and hence based on this pretext there is every danger that torture might become an administrative practice. There is every possibility that torture might become a systemic abuse tool. Thus only if morally permissible conditions prevail can torture be pursued. Another popular perspective is that bringing torture under a legal prism would make it a more effective tool as officials would only recourse to torture if the case seems really justified. If torture is accountable, then it becomes more justified. [Henry Shue] However, as John Conroy writes, Throughout the world torturers are rarely punished, and when they are, the punishment rarely corresponds to the severity of the crime [Sanford Levinson, pg 9]
The article by Kenneth Roth, the executive director of the Human Rights Watch clearly supports the view of the Sanford Levinson and Henry Shue by illustrating the gross abuse of torture. As evidence, Kenneth talks about the systematic use of torture that occurred during the Bush administration. The Guantanamo bay and Abu Ghraib prison centers are two glaring evidences of how torture has become a way of the government. The pictures of U.S. abuse at Abu Ghraib have been used by terrorists as recruiting posters. The U.S., a principled nation supporting human rights around the globe has become a violator. While the government tried to pass it on as misconducts on the part of a few officials, investigations revealed that the truth is a more systemic flawed approach that involved authorities at the highest levels. Kenneth argues that the conduct of the Bush government has tarnished the reputation of the U.S. As a proponent of the human rights. If such is the case the author asks how the U.S. can question violations by other countries.
America, which is seen by all nations as a powerful nation that champions human rights, no longer has the moral authority to accuse. [Kenneth Roth, 391] In his essay Kenneth also criticizes views of Lawyers Alan Dershowitz, Heymann and Kayyem who propose regulation of torture to make it more open and accountable.[Kenneth Roth, 402] If the highest authority of the most powerful and influential government in the world recourses to using torture then it is not hard to imagine how the judicial system responsible for the accountability could be compromised. [Shue & Weisberg]
Torture is a despicable practice that causes suffering, undermines the integrity, and violates the human rights of a person. The fact that the Bush administration undermined the international criminal court clearly indicates that the U.S. was not willing to allow its personnel to be prosecuted for war crimes and other offenses committed outside the country. Besides, the U.S. intelligence interrogation manual states Coercion undermines the quest for reliable information. [Kenneth Roth, 393]The U.S. military command in Iraq also states Iraqi detainees are providing more information when they are not abused. [Kenneth Roth, 393] So, as all these authors agree, torture is not the best way to obtain useful intelligence information. Making torture a legal and regulated procedure would only lead to open abuse.
1) Henry Shue, Torture, Philosophy and Public Affairs, Vol 7, no 2, Winter, 1978 124 — 143
2) Kenneth Roth, Getting Away with Torture, Global Governance 11(2005) 389-406
3) Sanford Levinson, The Debate on Torture, Dissent Summer 2003.
4) Henry Shue & Richard Weisberg, Responses to the Debate on Torture,.