To say I was disturbed at reports from Abu Ghraib prison some months ago now of US soldiers Lynndie England, Charles Graner (and others) torturing prisoners is an understatement.
I was sickened.
Is there ever a place to torture anyone for information that may save many other lives?
The means does not justify the end.
To hear one US senator comment at the time of the torture revelations, “It’s not so much that I am surprised at the torture, I am surprised at the fuss it has caused in the media, these people [Iraqis] flew their planes into our buildings” – Now that comment would have to make anyone sick to the stomach!
This past “The Weekend Australian” had an article on page 20 of The Inquirer section titled “Torture is not The Answer” – Well worth the read. Here are some quotes and thoughts from the article…
Last week an article was published by a couple of researchers from Australia’s own Deakin University defending the use of torture. In the article they argue any society has the right and and in fact the moral obligation to the use of torture and the use of ‘lethal force’ to extract information that may save lives. They call for the legalisation of what they name the “reasonable application of pain”. They are seemingly uncaring about occassions in which it is unproductive, one of the researchers is quoted as saying, “If you don’t get information you don’t get information”. The foundation of their ‘smart’ argument is simply – ‘It works’. Good ethical framework!! NOT!
This actually is wrong, It does not. Under pain people will say anything, right or wrong, just to stop pain. And the other side is, what of fanatics and those ‘sold out’ to their belief. They will go through anything to stand for what they believe in – even death. (Just read Fox’s Book of Martyrs.)
Our own sordid history throughout the dark ages (so rightly named) used torture. The Spanish Inquisition in which we (Christians, or those claiming to work for Christ) would among many other things pull out fingernails of the Jihadist (Muslim) to break him down…for Christ.
“The horror of torture is magnified by the realisation that this is being done to me by another human being.” says Pearson of The Australian. This violates, not just the freedom I claim as a citizen of my country or my faith, but this violates my human rights. One human should never turn so evil as to inflict such repeated atrocity upon another human.
This entire issue of torture has me angry. When I saw the pictures of humans leading humans around like dogs, when I read of some of the acts that these soldiers made their fellow humans perform, when I read about what people have done to others in the name of Christ and the cause of the ‘mighty Christendom’, I cringe, I am embarrased that the name of Christ is carried to justify such evil. The very fact that George W Bush talks of a ‘just war’, and claims “God told me to go to war”.
He must have missed the bit when God told him to “love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”