Tuesday, November 15, 2011

MWF, 9am

25 comments:

Andrew Davis said...

In my opinion, there is no doubt that waterboarding is torture, and that “enhanced interrogation technique” is a sad excuse for an equivocation thereof. Waterboarding produces the feeling of drowning, so it creates not only physical, but mental duress at the same time, fulfilling both parts of the United Nations’ definition of torture.
Now, as to whether all of the politicians that refer to the practice as “enhanced interrogation” should simply say torture, that gets a little trickier. In a perfect world, yes, they should, because their words are misleading, and can easily point the general public in the wrong direction. I have watched plenty of action movies in my time, and only do the bad guys ever do the torturing. The good guys are very rarely seen performing any kind of torture; more often, they are seen interrogating their victims. So, when politicians say that we are using “enhanced interrogation,” some ultra-form of the good cop, bad cop routine springs to mind, whereas at the mere mention of the word torture, blood and intense pain enters the picture. Taking this into account, politicians make the public believe that waterboarding isn’t so bad. “It’s just like Dirty Harry, and he was cool, right? Don’t listen to that silly torture word. We’re just roughin’ ‘em up a bit.” Now, should these politicians come clean and admit to waterboarding being torture? Yes. Will they? Most likely not. Why would they admit to something that is probably not going to look good in the eye of the people? True, through gory action movies, our tolerance for violence has definitely increased, but our sense of nationalism also remains, and with it come the now trite words of our Declaration of Independence, that “all humans have certain inalienable rights.” Politicians don’t want to tread on the toes of our beloved founding fathers, so they step lightly and avoid the word torture. If they did admit to waterboarding being torture, which many people hold to be the case anyway, then they are simply showing that they are brutish thugs. At least if they call it “enhanced interrogation,” they can claim that they were ignorant as to how horrible the practice actually is.

Luigi Forvil said...

The United Nations Convention clearly defines the meaning of torture.

With that said, water-boarding is TORTURE rather than an "enhanced technique." The word enhance technique is used to misrepresent the actual definition of what torture is. Yes, the technique may work to obtain vital information, however, what if the information obtained was wrong? Then, that becomes an unnecessary torture. And if this so called "technique" becomes a policy it will bring a major disaster because one may torture a person unnecessarily.

I disagree with the word enhance technique. Torture is TORTURE - PERIOD!

Reniel Castaneira said...

It is important to realize there is a difference between using waterboarding as a justified means of obtaining information, and not being able to admit it is a form of torture. The first one is a form of utilitarianism; the other is simply a form of a “continuous conscious denial”. The term “enhanced interrogation techniques” used to describe waterboarding is nothing more than an euphemism for torture. Euphemisms have been useful because they are very effective at hiding social prejudices. For instance, a “commercial pleasure worker” is a polite term for a prostitute, but they are virtually the same. I do not think there is a difference with waterboarding. Although some people might not feel comfortable calling it torture because of social prejudices, it does cause pain and suffering, and it is “intentionally inflicted”. The reason Cain, Bachmann, Gingrich do not admit they are in favor of torture is because this is a very powerful word, and their followers might not feel content about it. The solution is to find a term that sound more elaborate, and appealing to the senses. The word “enhance” adds a great deal of elegance, which is needed to camouflage the real meaning of torture.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion I think waterboarding is torture, almost a kind of professional torture or almost like a positive kind of torture, but wait torture is torture there is no such kind of positive a negative. unless the definition is changed or the rules for torture is changed this would be torture. But if they make such changes this means torture would turn into a policy or law which will have a lot of negative effects. For example when they arrest anyone they will have the right to torture him/her to give information,BUT what if the person is innocent and knows nothing about the crime. Unless you know the person you are interviewing know some information I don't think you should use any kind of torture.

Lukagea. S

Anonymous said...

I believe that you’re absolutely right in calling waterboarding torture, especially when we look at the definition that the U.N. gives to the word.
When it comes to the Republican candidates using a euphemism, I also do understand why they would. I do agree with the fact that by them condoning what they are trying to call “advanced interrogation techniques” they are directly condoning the use of torture methods. But we have to keep in mind that the opinion of the public is at stake here and they are counting on the fact that many people will probably not see past their euphemism.
I also do believe that torture would be justified in certain cases, such as we discussed in class, but I do see an ethical problem in seeing when exactly would it be acceptable. How can we stablish the limits of those events?
Alberto Jack

Noel Alerte said...

In my opinion, waterboarding is torture. The United Nations clearly define the word torture. It is a lack of courage from many of our politicians to defend waterboarding as it is. Putting someone on a state of feeling drowning cannot be considered as enhance of technique. Also, anything that can cause damaged to someone’s lungs, brain and even may cause that person unable to breath cannot be considered as enhance of technique. Many of our politicians try to defend water boarding by saying that it is enhance of technique instead of saying it is torture. I prefer them to be honest and defend waterboarding the same way a utilitarian may defend it. A utilitarian may say that waterboarding is torture, but they do it in a way to obtained information that can be benefit a majority of people. Our politicians can guarantee us that waterboarding does not use unnecessary. They use it in a way to obtain information that can help them to keep our country safe. Also, they can say that before they use it on someone, they make sure they have high degree information on that person. Therefore, our politicians fail to give us the true meaning of waterboarding.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, waterboarding is definitely torture. According to the United Nations definition, “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, information or a confession…” In other words, waterboarding constitutes all parts of the definition – no doubt, it is torture. However, I do understand the reasons for using the phrase “enhanced technique.” Politicians are speaking and debating for a place on the ballot to become president. Thus, if they used the word torture, then a majority of Americans would shy away from their election because it goes against the freedom that Americans have always fought for. I believe that waterboarding can be a useful technique in extracting vital information for the safety of millions of Americans. But, it would be nice if the politicians would call waterboarding what it is – torture – but the reality is that politicians will never explicitly try to deflate their chances in elections.
-- Christopher Craven

Michael Harrington-Pena said...

"Enhanced interrogation techniques" is indeed a euphemism for what is obviously torture. Waterboarding is inhumane and causes both physical and mental suffering. Therefore, the act fits into the United Nation's definition of torture. From an ethical standpoint, these Republicans should admit to the fact that they support torture. However, doing so would give a very disturbing image to the public. The euphemism that they use gives an illusion of morality and justice. The use of the phrase "enhanced interrogation techniques" does not cause people to picture extreme brutality or pain. Rather, one would think of an interrogator using strong persuasion. These politicians will probably continue to refrain from using the word ‘torture’ because it has a heavy negative connotation. Instead, they aim to keep their supporters in the dark and make them believe that they are in the right. Admission to the approval of torture would surely cause them to lose popularity, which is much more important to them than right and wrong.

catalina quintero said...

In my opinion waterboarding is a form of torture, which consists in which water is poured over the face of an immobilized captive, thus causing the individual to experience the sensation of drowning. Waterboarding can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, and damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, and other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage and death. Adverse physical consequences can manifest themselves months after the event, while psychological effects can last for years. This “enhanced technique” can even cause death. It’s better to those people to accept the term as a torture instead of saying something so absurd, they are trying to don’t say that they are in favor of torture. I also think it's immoral.

Cristhiam Espinales said...

There is no doubt that waterboarding is torture. I think that by praticing this methods to interrogate criminals called tortures we are becoming criminals and the criminals are becoming victims of abuse in some way. We are becoming animals by doing this type of things. Just the fact that a person is having the feeling of driwing makes this action a way to torture a person. I undestand that some times criminals dont contribute so they have to find a way to make this people talk but some of this methods are way to wild. I think the should find a different method to make this criminals talk as just dont see torture as the best way to do it. Just the fact that a criminal goes to jail for life makes me think there is nothing worse than that, being trap in a cave where I cant go anywhere.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, there is absolutely no way anyone can justify waterboarding as anything other than torture. It is torture by every definition of the word, and is usually the first method of torture that comes to when this topic is raised. For politicians to say that it is just an "enhanced interrogation" method is very wrong. Yes, it is an enhanced way to interrogate people, but it is also torture. However, I am sort of on the fence on whether I agree with using these methods to get valuable information. It is hard to argue that using different techniques of torture have been useful in bringing down some of the worlds most dangerous terrorist. This issue is still up in the air for me, but as for the issue of whether or not politicians should be able to get away with calling waterboarding just "enhanced interrogation", i completely disagree with that.

Mary Beth Wagoner

Carlos Vazquez said...

Former U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft said Thursday that the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, in which time the detainee is asphyxiated with a damp cloth wrapped around the face cannot be considered torture, reported the website CNN. According to Ashcroft, the director of the CIA, George Tenet, also stressed "the value of information received from the use of enhanced interrogation techniques. I do not know if he meant or not waterboarding, but I assume that for a moment together. The value of that information exceeded that of the information received by other means”. It is amazing to me that some Republican presidential candidates still claim that waterboarding is not torture, as they did in a recent debate. It is perfectly obvious that something which simulates drowning reaches the level of torture and those who deny it are being dishonest. The claim that waterboarding is not torture is simply ridiculous, and those who disagree should give it a try to see how they feel afterward.

Jerome Battle said...

Waterboarding is indeed torture on any individual no matter the situation. Mouth is covered with plastic or anything that could be used while water is repeatedly thrown on you. I agree with President Obama for banning such acted but to a certain except. If the victim deserve maybe if he did a crime or something that can harm society then it could be ok. But other situation like trying to get information out of someone is indeed wrong. Waterboarding could lead to drowning or health issues for the victim. The person you trying to get information from may have the wrong information or just nothing to do with it. Cain, Bachmann, Gingrich really should admit that they like the idea you can’t agree that waterboarding is torture and then say it’s an enhanced approach. But it’s not a surprising hearing a republican having a point of view like this. I think most republicans are aggressive and war prone. Waterboarding is something they would want to continue using.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe these “enhanced techniques” like waterboarding are ever okay. The fact that our country has participated in these acts sickens me. I cannot even condone it when we “know” the person has valuable information that could save others. We can never “know” these things for sure, and we can never trust what the person would say completely. I know many will disagree with me, but I do not believe violence or torture are things people should participate in. All of the clich├ęs, like “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and “two wrongs don’t make a right.” I honestly believe in them!
As far as the republican presidential candidates go. Yes they should just come out and admit it; they support torture. But will they? Not a chance. They are politicians willing to do whatever they must do to get elected. If one of them were to blatantly say “I support torture,” everyone in the country would go crazy! Torture is bad, the United States does not torture people. However, if you word things carefully enough you can rally everyone for your cause in just the right way. I don’t support torture, but if it is really necessary, enhanced techniques are necessary. Split the two and make them seem separate like enhanced techniques are not torture after all and people won’t question your judgment!

-Elizabeth Brady

susanmg said...

Why do we even bother paying attention to republicans anymore? Oh right, the comedy shows they present disguised as "debates". For some reason, republicans and their candidates have an affinity for anything to do with violence towards other human beings. Calling waterboarding an "Enhanced interrogation technique" carries different connotations than the word normally attributed to the practice; torture. As mentioned in class, waterboarding produces intense pain and discomfort, and should thus be classified as torture. The fact that the candidates say they are against torture, and then ENDORSE and CONDONE the use of waterboarding, leads one to further inspect the skewed platforms they stand on. Furthermore, the fact that their audience APPLAUDS them should also bring light to the sadistic nature of some radical conservatives, and how they react to such perverse treatment of fellow human beings. Waterboarding as a practice should be considered torture, and those who are in favor of it should be labled TORTURERS.
-Susan Marie Guerra

Jesus Tamayo said...

Politics has always been about playing dirty and playing with words to let the people hear what they want to hear. It is no surprise that a group of politicians running to become the next president will never say that they are in favor of torture. The word torture has a nasty ring to it and the last thing a politician wants to be remembered as is the politician with the nasty words. For example, when Obama ran one of the things that made him stand out was the way he spoke, had he said something along the lines of “I support TORTURE” those lines would be the only topic when his name would had been brought up. It is sad that how the system is by just playing with words and switching “torture” for “enhanced interrogation“ things like water boarding can be use as a way to obtain information. Its up to the people to open their ears and realize that torture will always be torture.

Anonymous said...

Well in my opinion I don’t think its n their best interest or their parties best interest to acknowledge it as torture because it would cause them to lose votes. Every party that will ever run for election will try to get votes on the basis of euphemism. Which makes plenty of sense considering that in this country there are millions of Americans who are simply uneducated or ignorant. People usually pick a party to stand by and vote for them. Disregarding what ridiculous phrases, words or actions committed by the candidate. Until people realize and get informed, some people will continue to accept these terms and agree even though obliviously ridiculous. I think they are playing it right by changing terms to appease the peoples ears and let them do the math to see if it makes any sense what so ever.
Xabier Martinez-Cid

joevanih sauvagere said...

well waterboarding can go in two ways its can help our state or hurt it.I think waterboarding is wrong and torture. The world is so upside down, even though we need peace in the world. The world will always have hate, war, and death, to get their way. "So call to make the state better", but how the people that they waterboarding feel. They life and courtny will see us as "the bad guy", are they really the bad guy? or are we? The fact and the turth will come in the socaity. The world is a BIG war to its self, beacuse the pepole don't know the turth. We need to know the turth and live our life how we such.

Keyree Castano said...

I think is not even necessary to have and specific meaning of what is torture? The simple fact when we see anybody getting some kind of brutal treatment. Is being torture, for some people depending the benefit they are getting from it , they may say that water boarding is useful to get information even though they can’t get the truth nor even any kind of information. On the other hand , and is very few the people that do really understand the real meaning of Torture , and more what is being made on person that is being water boarder. Although, it can’t exist a more clear meaning of torture, and even though it’s permitted is still use. Sadly , different methods of torturing have been used for decades, so I don't think at this point they are just to veto them.

Maria Castellanos said...

In my opinion, waterboarding is torture due to the fact that the individual is suffering while they are doing this because it causes a sensation of drowning and and it can also cause severe pain by causing damage to the lungs and the brain from oxygen dipravation, waterboarding can also cause physical damage due to struggling against restraints. waterboarding for me is exactly the meaning of what torture is.

Anonymous said...

In my opinion, waterboarding is indeed torture. the best way to see if waterboarding is torture is to waterboard the people who advocate the practice - like bush, tenet, American soldiers.........
similar to how police officers taser themselves to feel the pain the victim goes through
if an American soldier is waterboarded and says it not torture, then I will allow it - until then, a person that hasn't been through the practice doesn't have the "right" to decide if it is torture or not, we are no different for the Nazis or the soviets for that matter. President Obama said today that Republican presidential candidates are “wrong” to defend the practice of waterboarding, which he said is torture. “Waterboarding is torture. It’s contrary to America’s traditions, it’s contrary to our ideals, it’s not who we are, it’s not how we operate,” Obama told reporters at a press conference of the interrogation technique. We don’t need it in order to prosecute the war on terrorism,” Obama explained. “If we want to lead around the world part of our leadership is setting a good example. And anybody who has actually read about and understands the practice of waterboarding would say that that is torture and that’s not something we do. Period.”
-Tania Joseph

Bibiana Ramos said...

Torture is referred to the amount of physical and psychological pain inflicted to a person and of course it is disturbing that the United States is part of this unethical practice as the United States has lead the way over the years for democracy and human rights; the use of this tactic is questionable as anyone under extreme infliction of pain of may agree to anything. It is then a reliable tactic to obtain information? In 2009, President Barack Obama banned the use of this tactic , however, the Department of Defense refuse to inform if the tactic was still use or not. Even if the government of the United States is still enforcing this tactic how reliable is the information obtain as a result of this practice and how hypocrite the government of the United States is obtaining information by this method when this same government is battling the world defending freedom

torrance kendrick said...

Honestly I think torture is not really good at all because there are other ways to get information up out of people. But the whole water boarding thing is kind of put of hand because if someone was true to their country it would all be for nothing at all. trying to drown someone for some information is pretty scary now don't get me wrong, but then again its how the government or who ever try to get their information out of terrorists. We discussed in class that someone tried to argue against the word and reword or rephrase but I afree with some of the people in my class torture is torture though .

Anonymous said...

I believe waterboarding is torture. Republican candidates Ron Paul and John Huntsman can called waterboarding an "enhanced technique” form of interrogations all they want but at the end of the day it is still torture. According to the United Nations definition of torture water boarding is torture. Waterboarding can cause extreme pain, dry drowning, damage to lungs, brain damage from oxygen deprivation, other physical injuries including broken bones due to struggling against restraints, lasting psychological damage and death . We called it torture when it was done against American pilots. So I guess it's only torture if it's done against Americans and just interrogation if we do it to someone else. Yes torturing a person can provide important information but that not always the case. Torture gets a confession, not the truth. People who are hurt and afraid will say anything to make the pain stop.

-Ramondina Jean Joseph

Angie Paez said...

Well in my opinion, “enhanced techniques” such as waterboarding should not be okay or reinstated because they are a way of torture. I don’t understand why the government or some politicians want to show Americans or the media that this practice is for our own good. Waterboarding produces extreme pain and discomfort and it should not be seeing or use as a way for us to get information. I believe there is other ways in which can obtain information to improve our country’s security, instead of using waterboarding or torture to get what we want.