For a while now I have been listening to both sides of the argument on the torture of the detainees being held by the United States Government. I have heard the talk show hosts going on about how water boarding is not torture and even heard Sean Hannity offer to be water boarded himself (until he thought better of that idea). I have also read about the actionable intelligence that the U.S. received as a result of these interrogation techniques.
What I have not heard is a discussion on the civil and human rights aspect of our torturing of detainees. I know a lot of people out there are saying that they are terrorist and have no rights, but lets take a look at our laws concerning both civil and human rights.
In the United States it is against the law to torture a confession out of some one. It is said that because they are a threat to American Citizens, that the use of extreme interrogation measures on terror suspects was justified. But if that is the logic being applied, then why not apply that to a mass murderer. Many times the police or other federal agencies know that some one has committed a crime and is likely to commit additional crimes if they don't take him or her off the streets, but they simply do not have the evidence to arrest them. If protecting American Citizens is priority, then why not water board a confession out of them? As long as we are at it, look at how many of our children we could save if we just tortured a confession out of some one we suspect as being a child molester! And what about bank robbers? If the police have intelligence that some one is going to rob a bank, then they could just pick him or her up and water board the confession out of them and put them away! Lets not forget the drug users. We could torture out of them the location of their stash and save a alot of searching on the part of the police!
Dick Cheny said this last weekend that moving the detainees at Guantanamo to United States soil was a bad idea, because then they would be protected under American law. This is the Vice President of an administration that said (after no WMDs were found) that we needed to invade Iraq because of Saddam Hussein's flagrant disregard for Human Rights.
So my question for all of you is this. Do we as a nation support Civil and Human rights for the entire world, or just for American Citizens?