There are all sorts of reasons for it...or none at all. There are NO justifications for it, in my view. And that view, that opinion, has nothing to do with what my political or cultural or ethical views are, though those beliefs which I have are important to me. It has to do with the incontrovertible fact...that Torture doesn't work, and that it is done for reasons which have nothing to do with establishing the truth...(unless of course one wishes to prove that the application of torture is damaging and painful to the body and mind), like Nazi psuedo science conducted in the concentration camps in the era of the everlasting Third Reich.
The nearest one can get to justifying torture...or put it this way, the "weakest" link in the chain towards "NO TORTURE" becoming an absolute, is the "immediacy" argument, which is presented by either the perpetrators, or the advocates, or by some folks who don't really understand what torture is all about. Having said that...do any of us really know?
The "immediacy" argument, is the one I am talking about. I am sure most of you have heard it put forward as some kind of reason, justification or excuse, for conducting a tortuous activity. It is the "smoking bomb" type of scenario; where you, as an individual, has discovered and detained someone whom you suspect, nay know is hiding a dastardly act, an imminent act of terrorism. The problem is how to get the information out of them so that you can prevent it from happening. It doesn't matter whether it is one life at stake (including your own) or many...It is this point of view which pops up when it comes to discussing torture, even though its "immediacy" is irrelevant, and presumably is aimed at diverting attention away from what is really going on. Hollywood has made lots of films with "the smoking bomb" as a topic. What would you do?
Because of that "immediacy" would you be justified, legally, morally, ethically or lawfully, if you used torture to get the information out of that other person? Would a court of law support your use of torture, would your fellow human beings support your use of torture? How much torture and what kinds of torture should one be allowed to use? A torture of ones own choosing perhaps...or a form of torture which has been justified in the court of human kindness?
I had a quick look around the constitutions of nation states to see if I could find, in any of them, a provision, a justification for using torture at any time...And I couldn't find any...much to my relief, though there might be some little nation state which is the exception to the rule.
Also...I couldn't find one proven instance in the recent CIA extraordinary rendition and torture programme, where "the smoking bomb" scenario was present...though I would be grateful if anyone can find one and post the url.
Masters of Bovine Scatology...Dick Cheney, Rumsfeld CIA Directors, ex President G.W Bush, and many others, too numerous to mention by name; one and all together, chose to ignore those human values to which they most aspire, and encourage others to aspire to...in my view. I think it is what is called in legal terms...a criminal conspiracy. I notice that I haven't heard much about conspiracy and conspiracy theories of late. Yet, I don't think this one is due to fantasy. I also notice that the blame game, the responsibility game, has all but vanished, and people talk of being misled or innaccuracies, rather than criminal deception, lies, criminal fraud and so on. Conspiracy to torture is not a criminal offence in the USA apparently, although it was at Nuremberg. Still, perhaps such harsh language should be reserved for us plebs.
Just shows the arrogance which Presidential license creates in people, when it removes all controls on organisational behaviour; particularly in ones which operate in secret. These people are all classed as highly educated, civilised people, who went to top schools, came from respectable, long established families...Made their way up through society, entrepreneurs, children of founding fathers, top universities...If this is the calibre of their output; no wonder America is going down the pan.
The rest of the world looks on them in shock, amazement and bewilderment, and most of us are very disturbed by their behaviour, except for some other nation state secret intelligence services, of course, whose members follow the same international club and think that torture and illegal detention is OK and should not be fettered...because it helps to protect National Security of course.
And they are still in denial. Still using the same tactics and strategies to try and keep off the hook. Still deceiving, lying, distorting, making excuses, detracting, diverting, justifying their behaviour, doing anything and everything to avoid the truth. The Vietnam War it was the Cong who were to blame...now it is Militant Muslims, that are preventing those people from realising their dreams. Always someone or something...the driving forces behind the need for torture are very powerful indeed.
This discourse isn't just about illegality, or immorality, or illegality. Torture is wrong. Torture does not work. Torture dressed up as enhanced interrogation procedures is like calling a thorn a pretty petal.
Is that perhaps why the USA government hasn't signed up to any international human rights act...one wonders. Because there is a chance some of their leaders would be prosecuted for crimes against humanity? Perhaps it is not a good idea to suspend even the limited agreements of the Geneva Conventions, and to allow and excuse bad behaviour or legal responsibility. It also appears too, that not content with doing these criminal deeds themselves, they involved at least 54 other countries to become involved in their torture and rendition programme, using a mixture of bribery of public officials, corruption of civil servants, payments to keep people quiet and extra money for maintaining the project on foreign soils. They also used blackmail and threats to families...and to those who refused to support, they undermined with any type of propoganda. Social Darwinism in a word, the philosophy of Nazi Germany. "Only the fittest survive" said Darwin. What he meant by fittest, was those species which were most adaptable. NOT in Social Darwinist terms of only the most powerful survive. Once again, the perpetrators of anti-human crimes turn the language to suit their own needs, to avoid responsibility for their actions.
Underneath the skin of that "civilised ruling elite" still hunts the primitive instincts, the primordial drives, the urges the irresistible impulses and last, but not least in importance...the learned behaviour, which are so essential to human survival. They learned it somewhere, they learned it from someone. It is time that they were given guidance and tuition to unlearn it, in my view. I cannot believe that these kinds of values are held by most ordinary Americans, or that once the truth of their actions are revealed that they will just stand by and ignore it. I cannot believe that once the American people see, read and understand what their leadership has been up to, that they will stand back and do nothing.
Yet the militarisation of the police force and law enforcement agencies continues apace. Huge amounts are being spent on information technology for use on the so-called cyber war, on both defensive and offensive capabilities. Huge amounts are being spent on drones and drone technology, on robotisation of war, where robots kill human beings. Purely a question of cost and the production of machines. Drone was is a "safe" war, which Obama uses a lot. It protects American armed forces from being attacked. It kills terrorists and opponents. It also kills innocents, non-terrorists, families and children of all ages. Does drone war work, is it ethical, is it moral is it lawful? Apparently so. Yet so many Americans are complaining about why they are hated so much in the world. Perhaps it could be something to do with the way they treat other nations, races and religions and cultures? A look in their own back yard to see if there is anything dirty there, and clean it out?
My son said to me once how much he appreciated Obama, and how he loved children. Then, I told him the story of drone warfare. He was shocked and amazed, didn't believe me at first...but, my saviour was the world wide web. He could go and look for himself.
Blacks, people of colour get killed willy-nilly, even kids. The Grand Jury sees no case to answer. Racism abounds, sexism rages, yet, those very same leading Americans want to teach the rest of the worlds citizens lessons on human rights and equality. It is indeed the highest form of hypocrisy, and a great insult to the intelligence of most people who inhabit this planet. Perhaps they should try leading by example rather than showing us all how NOT to do to protect human beings from harm. Perhaps it is time to start an American form of the Nuremburg Trials...