RIGHT OR RIGHTS

Life is full of change. Although not always accepted or called for change defines the society that we live in. However our society constantly tries to combat certain changes. Alan Dershowitz, a Harvard graduated lawyer and philosopher, proposes a change that can help stop useless torture. He calls for the judicial system to evolve, restricting the use of torture to only necessary situations by the means of a warrant. However, this idea is not only his. Many have come to the conclusion that our country must adapt to the world we live, I believe this may be a way to address the idea of terrorism, and our mortality, with humanity. My personal view is against the use of torture, but I believe this is the direction the human race needs to follow. This is the option that can protect you and your family if shit hits the fan.

He shows why the government should stop turning a blind eye to the fact that torture is inevitable, and is happening whether we as a nation like it or not. So, we should legalize it and make it impossible for non-warranted torture to occur. We should address the fact that it occurs anyway, and regulate it.

This can be done through the use of the warrant. The warrants would be issued by a judge, who would need an extremely compelling argument as to why torture is necessary. They would act as a second-check to the reasoning of the interrogator. It would mean far less torture would be conducted. The only reasonable situation, in which the judge agrees for the warrant, is the Ticking Bomb Situation.

This is the case where torture could so many innocent lives. A well-defined situation that humanitarian action calls for torture. The Ticking Bomb Situation must have: involve a terrorist that has vital information that could save innocent live, with a large imminent threat to innocent lives, and the only possible way to obtain the information requires torture. It’s not hard to see that the humanitarian action is to protect innocent life. So, if non-lethal torture can save innocent lives, it is our duty to ourselves as human beings to protect life. Although human rights are sacred constructs, nothing is more precious than a human life. After all, cuts will soon scar over and heal, but you can’t wake up after you enter the eternal being of death. If this situation presents itself, what do you think should be done?

There is one who does not believe that torture should ever be used, his name is Alan Scarry. He believes that despite the fact that the infliction of pain could save innocent lives. He calls for an unwavering resistance against torture, an absolute unchanging, non-evolving stand. Except, he does theorize of a reason to torture. He talks about such a situation: it is vital to a robust population of lives to extract information, the torturer is so confident that the suspect contains the information, and is willing to risk his future liberties to extract such information. It seems like Scarry has a flaw in his system. In the absolute opposition of torture, there is no legal means to allow something that everybody knows should be part of the toolkit of any realistic government. That means that when torture goes on, it will not be documented, or regulated. Do you rather have rogue torture conducted on possibly innocent beings, over legalized and controlled interrogation? No, of course not. In this instance, it seems almost impossible to comprehend the why blanket the blanket anti-torture system is the humanitarian choice. We all know it isn’t.

This all boils down to the value of humanity. What is worth more, human rights or the right to life? It seems obvious to me that life is far more valuable, don’t you agree? Chanterelle Sung, a well-established humanitarian, also a more legal reason why The Constitution allows for torture to be conducted in a time of need. The amendments that would usually restrict the use of torture: the Fourteenth, Eighth, and the Fifth Amendment, allow for an exception in substantial cases. If you don’t believe me read about it. The situation requires the ‘Ticking Bomb Situation’ and a known terrorist is in custody. The summary is that the terrorist forfeits his humanity by committing heinous crimes, allowing for torture when there are no other options.

I feel that the best stance is to face the reality that torture happens. We need to no longer turn a blind eye to this fact. A blanket no-torture system can’t prevent the inevitable, so it must remain ignorant of the atrocities of torture. We as humans must find a way to hold those who need to torture accountable, while also making sure that torture is simply the only option, all other resources have been exhausted. The system that can do that involves warrants that regulate and legitimate the types of advanced interrogation already used worldwide. After all a true Democracy does what it needs to protect its people, however, it cannot keep torture ‘off the books’ as it is doing now. These sort of hidden actions can damage the integrity of the democracy. The most viable option, that can systematically protect human rights, is our system of torture warrants. So I insist you do the human thing, think of your safety, the safety of innocence, and work to pressure the legislature to evolve. So, in the future we can live in a world of legal means oppose to one of covering up the truth.

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