canadiancomment

Our opinions and advice to the world. Updated whenever we get around to it.

Some Situations Call for Coercion

There has been much debate about whether torture or coercion, they are two different things in my book, should be used by the military to acquire information from terrorists that have been taken captive during the war against terror. I have given the subject a little thought over the last little while and have come to the conclusion that the following quote from Mark Bowden's new book, Road Work, sums up my position pretty good.
"The Bush administration has adopted exactly the right posture on the matter. Candor and consistency are not always public virtues. Torture is a crime against humanity, but coercion is an issue is rightly handled with a wink, or even a touch of hypocrisy; it should be banned but also quietly practiced. Those who protest coercive methods will exaggerate theirs horrors, which is good; it generates a useful climate of fear. It is wise of the president to reiterate U.S. support for the international agreements banning torture, and it is wise for American interrogators to employ whatever coercive methods that work. It is smart not to discuss the matter with anyone."
"If interrogators step over the line from coercion to outright torture, they should be held personally responsible. But no interrogator is ever going to be persecuted for keeping Khalid Sheikh Mohammend awake, cold, alone, and uncomfortable. Nor should he be."
I totally agree with Bowden, coercion is needed by the military to acquire time sensitive information from captives. I can live with the fact that a terrorist may have to suffer from coercive methods if it means saving the lives of innocents. I believe that its morally right, mind you there is a very thin line between coercion and torture and all efforts should be made to not cross that line. Doesn't that sound reasonable?

No comments: