Monday, May 25, 2009

Guantanamo And Waterboarding: Evil or Virtue?

This is a huge debate that is not only between the Democrats and Republicans, amongst republicans but between the rest of the world and the US. First I will define both terms: evil and virtue, examine them in the Bible and then reconcile them with the US constitution and international torture conventions look at the conventions about torture.

Evil is anything sinful and virtue is anything that conforms to morality. So the question would be: are Quantanamo and Waterboarding sinful?

Considering that the Bible accepts prisons and Guantanamo is a prison then it is morally right. Waterboarding is a form of interrogative technique for criminals and the Bible is mute on that. Isaiah prophesied metaphorically that God was going to torture the Israelites (2 Kings 19:28; Is 37:29; Ezek 38:4). There is an indirect usage of waterboarding in the scripture (Is 8:7-8). Thus, just like the Bible is not for or against slavery it is not for or against torture. Hence, the thing that the Bible is mute on is decided by the law of the land and our consciences.

In the US for example, the debate is made difficult with the formation of the conservatives and the liberals. The former led by GOP believe it is merely a form of interrogation technique while the latter led by the Democrats believe it is torture. The Bible is the only perfect book that would have stated the wrongness or rightness of the issue but it is mute. So we will now turn to the societal canon that would form our conscience. Those would be the US constitution and the UN charter.

The 8th Amendment of the US constitution is against Torture. In April 18, 1988, John Whitehead on behalf of the US signed the UN Convention Against Torture. Part 1 Article 1 of UN Convention Against torture states: “torture means any act by which severe pain or suffering, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession.

So now neither Limbaugh nor Pelosi can find refuge in the Bible about torture but both can at least peruse the constitution and the UN Convention Against Torture which the US is a signatory. Consequently, we would have to cross-examine waterboarding if it constitutes torture.

What then is Waterboarding? It is an interrogation technique where the victim is made to feel like they are drowning though they are not by water constant poured into their forcefully opened mouth and nostrils. What is the difference between keeping a criminal up for 24 hours to be grilled by investigations in a regular jail with Waterboarding? Does it mean that the criminal is not being tortured? Now if the criminal is being tortured why is it not outlawed? That is because though it is emotionally torturing, it is the only means the investigators could get a criminal to talk. That is the same thing too with waterboarding. Though it is a hard interrogative technique it is one of the best methods to get terrorists and war opponents to talk and save lives. Once cannot make omelet without breaking eggs.

Even in prison the degree of lockdown is different; harden criminals are placed in a maximum security. First time offenders are not locked up in the same area with murderers. Terrorists need a harsher interrogative technique to make them speak. To force you and a navy seal to speak the interrogator cannot use the same method because the navy seal will be too tough for your simple technique. To interview a civilian one just needs to keep them up for 16 hours in a grueling interview and they confess. It is not the same thing with a terrorist. So I do not see why waterboading is bad. Terrorists are tougher than simple criminals and to make them talk, one needs all the harsh techniques they could use.

Those who support Waterboarding are not more patriotic than those who reject it, and those who reject it are not holier than those who support it. Most Westerners believe that eating a dog is a bad thing but most Asians and Africans find it a delicacy. Does it mean the westerners are holier than the Asians and Africans?

However, those who support it may have a better case to make since the terrorists do not treat their victims kindly. It is due to terrorism that the US went to War in Afghanistan and Iraq. While no one is advocating for blind patriotism, but we do believe that harsher interrogation techniques should be used on terrorists to make them speak because they have been trained in more adverse conditions than the mere US jails. There is need for a harsher interrogative techniques to make them talk because the much and faster they talk the many lives will be saved. The only language terrorists understand better is force and force they should be served on a golden platter.

Until then, there is nothing wrong with Waterboarding and Guantanamo.

Prince & PA Hamilton Ayuk

“No matter how a rat becomes the house pet, if it is sleeping beside the bag of groundnuts the owner may not have much sleep. ” (Hamilton Ayuk)."If a goat runs from the owner’s leash it will be tied by the council in a market square" Hamilton Ayuk).

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