Every man deserves the right to be treated as humanely as possible. How do we deal with terrorists then? These men and women who made it their lives purpose to destroy countries and ruin innocent lives. Charles Krauthammer strongly believes that the McCain amendment of prohibiting inhumane behavior towards terrorist is not entirely applicable today. He says that there are some cases where it is necessary to resort to harsher measures when dealing with them. If a captured terrorist has any knowledge of an imminent attack, a no-torture policy could hinder authorities in gathering any useful information to prevent it.
One of Charles Krauthammer’s main arguments against the no-torture rule is the need for any relevant information that a captured terrorist may possess (Krauthammer, 2005). Krauthammer believes that torture can only be justified when it is done to extract information for the purpose of saving innocent lives (Krauthammer, 2005).
While there is no refuting the McCain amendment’s noble purpose to ban “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment of any prisoner, I would have to agree with Krauthammer’s arguments that this kind of idealism is simply impractical. I am not advocating torture for pleasure, but for necessity. I believe that a nation needs to do whatever it takes to ensure it’s survival.
Krauthammer’s arguments can be construed to be in opposition of the Utilitarian point of view. A utilitarian does not believe in “an eye for an eye” justice system (West, 2008). Anybody who breaks the law deserves the right to be reformed to promote law and order in our society. However, Krauthammer’s arguments are not entirely for the abolition of civil and human rights for terrorists or even prisoners of war. What he is saying is we take appropriate measures against captured terrorists agents in the event that we can prevent tragedies like the 9/11.
If we disregard Utilitarianism in this debate, Krauthammer’s article makes a persuasive point in dealing with terrorism. With the recent growth of the number of tragic terrorist attacks, it is not difficult to consider harsher measures to ward off a future attacks. Whether it is morally justified or not, torture for the purpose of gathering life-saving information is something that I can accept as necessary.
Krauthammer, C. (2005). The truth about torture. News Corporation.The weekly standard. Volume 011, Issue 12. December 05, 2005. Retrieved February 28, 2008, from http://www.weeklystandard.com/
West, H. R. (2008). Utilitarianism. Retrieved February 28, 2008, from http://www.utilitarianism.com/index.htm.