Waterboarding Is Torture Essay

1192 words - 5 pages

A patrol team from the 1st Brigade, 3rd Infantry Division is responsible for searching suspected insurgent hideouts, capturing enemy combatants and bringing them in for questioning. On July 28th, 2011 the patrol team was in the city of Bagdad, Iraq when a roadside bomb takes out the first two vehicles in the convoy killing four soldiers. They immediately pull to the side of the road and take cover as the rest of the convoy comes under small arms fire. A long fight pursues, but the patrol team is able to disarm the insurgents and take them captive. The next day, back at camp, the platoon leader puts several soldiers from the patrol team in charge of interrogating one of the suspects. He explains the technique he wants used to obtain this information. The technique is called waterboarding. It is certain to get the results expected, but leaves the subordinates with a dilemma of whether or not its use will get them in trouble. Emotions are running high as the patrol team lost four of their own just the day before. What should they do? For them the answer may not be crystal clear because they are emotionally charged and probably not to concerned for the well-being of their captive. However, waterboarding should be considered torture because it violates Title 18, Part I, Ch. 113C of the United States (U.S.) Code; it is an act of inhumanity based on the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment, and it is against the international treaties set forth by the Third and Fourth Geneva Conventions. To illustrate this point, however, one must first know what waterboarding is and its subsequent effects.
Waterboarding, as described in current media reports and congressional hearings, is an interrogation technique in which water is forced into a detainee's mouth and nose to induce the sensation of drowning. The subject is placed on an inclined table and strapped down with their feet above their head. A rag is placed over their face to simulate darkness. Water is then poured over the rag, producing a lack of oxygen and inducing fear that makes the individual believe that they are going to die by drowning. In the event the person refuses to give up any information, they may be coerced to cooperate by using this extreme interrogation technique.
In the weekly journal “Time U.S.”, the article “Waterboarding: A Mental and Physical Trauma” highlights the after-effects by people who have endured the traumatic experience of waterboarding. "This is an utterly terrifying event," says Allen Keller, the director of the Bellevue/New York University School of Medicine Program for Survivors of Torture. "Psychologically this can result in significant long-term post-traumatic stress, and produce anxiety and depression.” ("Waterboarding: A Mental As Well As Physical Trauma - TIME.” N.p., n.d.)
Allen Keller goes on to essentially refute claims that a subject intuitively understands that there is no real jeopardy, just discomfort by saying that there is a significant difference between...

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