Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay
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1. Torture Melissa Emm
2. Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay & the C.I.A.
3. What is Torture? Inflicting pain (excruciating in severity)
Traditional definition: “physical suffering… through violence” (O’Byrne)
International law: physical or mental
? Government officials
4. What is the Purpose of Torture? Traditional: extract information, confess guilt
Power: break resistance, intimidation
Williams: destruction of individual as person
Sartre: taking human dignity
Marton: “impose silence through violence”
? Form of censorship
5. Torture Pre-Modern World Torture historically seen in two realms
Used as weapon of state
Greece: torture slaves
Romans: Citizens included
English: use torture to get plea
6. Modern World Torture Judiciary use of torture abolished
Geneva Convention: 1929 POW/Citizen
Use of torture for political purpose
7. Issues today Amnesty International: over half of countries in world practice some form of torture
Police Brutality: form of torture?
What is the definition of torture?
Moderate physical pressure
8. International Law on Torture All people, all areas, at all times
“Severe mental or physical pain or suffering… intentionally inflicted on a person”
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
9. The Convention Against Torture All states must criminalize torture
Prohibits transfer to countries where persons are in danger of torture
Must end torture in your country
Allows diplomatic assurances
10. US Law on Torture Federal Anti-Torture Statute defines torture as,
“an act committed by a person acting under the color of law specifically intended to inflict severe physical or mental pain or suffering upon another person within his custody or physical control” (Human Rights Watch).
War Crimes Act of 1996 - criminalization of torture
11. Finding Loopholes Rendition
In danger of vs. more likely than not
How to define severe pain and intent
12. Debating Torture http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/military/july-dec05/torture_12-02.html#
What do you think? Should the U.S. military use torture as a method of interrogation?
13. Major Pros for the use of torture The Ticking Bomb Scenario
“No time if a bomb is planted in a major city.”
The life of one vs. the life of thousands
14. Major Cons for the use of torture The Ticking Bomb Scenario revisited
Torture yields unreliable results
Victims confess to make pain stop
“I couldn’t take the torture so I decided to sign. I confessed to things I never did… If they had sentenced me to death I wouldn’t have cared.”
15. Where do we go from here? Should we legalize torture to clean it up?
How can we close loopholes like diplomatic assurances?