Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Independent student content

BG Falcon Media

Follow us on social
  • They Both Die at the End – General Review
    Summer break is the perfect opportunity to get back into reading. Adam Silvera’s (2017) novel, They Both Die at the End, can serve as a stepping stone into the realm of reading. The pace is fast, action-packed, and develops loveable characters. Also, Silvera switches point of view each chapter where narration mainly focuses on the protagonists, […]
  • My Favorite Book – Freshwater
    If there’s one book that I believe everyone should read once in their life, it’s my favorite book – Freshwater by Akwaeke Emezi. From my course, Queer Literature under Dr. Bill Albertini, I discovered Emezi’s Freshwater (2018). Once more, my course, Creative Writing Thesis Workshop under Professor Amorak Huey, was instructed to present our favorite […]

If it’s torture, we need to stop using it

As a kid, if someone I knew had information they didn’t want me to have, I would use a form of torture to get it out of them. I would do something like threaten them with wet willies or with one of those loogies that stretches down until, at the last second, is sucked back up. The United States has other ways of getting people to talk, allegedly by using waterboarding.

Waterboarding isn’t a summertime water sport. It’s not a naval tactic for boarding a ship, either. Waterboarding is an “interrogation technique” where the victim is strapped to a board. The board is tilted so their feet are up while their head is down and buckets of water are poured over their head to induce a drowning feeling. It is a little more intense than loogies and wet willies but perhaps not as bad as ripping out fingernails.

The government has neither confirmed or denied waterboarding is a form of torture or their involvement in its use.

This is most definitely a form torture. Most people I know don’t like to feel as if they are drowning. Of course, there is no way a highly civilized nation like the United States would take part in such barbarous methods of torture anyway.

The evidence on the White House’s Web site would suggest otherwise. At WhiteHouse.gov, there is a transcript from an interview with Vice President Cheney in which he admits to using waterboarding on former al-Qaeda member Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. In response to the subject of waterboarding, Cheney says, “That’s been a very important tool that we’ve had to be able to secure the nation. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed provided us with enormously valuable information…”

Of course, the White House officially does not acknowledge the use of waterboarding as a interrogation technique. In a CNN.com article from Oct. 30, Judge Michael Mukasey gave the standard, government issue, vague response to the subject of torture. The article says that Mukasey, the President’s choice for attorney general, called waterboarding “a ‘repugnant’ practice” but, as he has on previous occasions, refused to say if it violates the U.S. laws that ban the use of torture.

If the U.S. doesn’t use torture to get their information, then what does it use? As I found out as a kid, torture is the most effective way to get people to talk. Truthful testimony or not, any talking is better than the silence that would follow attempts of persuasion, bribing and asking politely, which just don’t have the same effect. Even though waterboarding may not be the most moral way of obtaining information, it seems to be necessary and Cheney says it is effective.

Historically, our government has put morals aside to do whatever it deemed necessary to keep the American people safe. Obviously I can’t include every example here, so let me cut you off just a slice of America’s self-defense history. When Native Americans threatened the lives of settlers, the government allowed them to be massacred via germ warfare, buffalo slaughtering and straight-up murder.

Want a second helping? The dropping of “Little Boy” and “Fat Man” over Japanese cities resulted in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Japanese civilians. This was said to be, as the B-29 over Hiroshima was named, a “necessary evil.” Whether it was necessary to drop two bombs, over civilian populations, only 50 hours apart is debatable.

Despite these blatant and visible acts of violence, in self defense of course, why does the United States government hide its use of torture as an interrogation technique? If it is being done to protect Americans then, according to history, that should be enough to justify it, as long as we apologize for it years later.

Despite the evidence to the contrary, in a CNN.com article, President Bush claims, “This government does not torture.” This is about as truthful as the Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad claiming, “In Iran we don’t have homosexuals.”

Waterboarding is torture. If torture is illegal, which it is, then we should stop waterboarding. This will never happen because, according to Cheney, it is an effective way of finding out what we need to know to keep Americans safe. The only option left is to make torture a legal means of interrogation. Until other means of interrogation become effective, saying please, with a cherry on top if necessary, we will be using waterboarding anyway. At least, if it were legal, the government wouldn’t have to keep lying about it and pussyfooting around it. They could just hang it out to dry like the brutal self-defense techniques of our past.

Leave a Comment
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$1325
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of Bowling Green State University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to BG Falcon Media
$1325
$1500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

All BG Falcon Media Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *