Torture Essay

499 WordsMay 11, 20082 Pages
The article, “Torture and Positive Law: Jurisprudence for the White House” by Jeremy Waldron, argues that the absolute prohibition on torture should be enforced. Waldron starts off by discussing a situation that occurred under American control in a prison in Iraq. In this prison, abusive acts such as sexual humiliation and physical beatings were conducted by the American prison officials. One aspect of this event that is disturbing to Waldron is that this torture did not occur because of a few inadequately trained reservists, but because military police at the prison said that these occurrences were “favorable conditions” for the examination of captives. Waldron does not believe that torture should be used to punish prisoners or to get information out of them. Waldron is confident in the fact that if a nation has rules against torture, they should be absolute. He also points out that even if a certain act is not written down and termed as “illegal”, it does not mean that is acceptable to engage in. There should not be ways to get around the rules and there should not be conditions in which torture is acceptable. One example in history where rules were bent in a given situation involved members of Al Qaeda and Taliban. Even though there are rules in the Geneva Conventions against torture, there is no specific section about the type of conflict in which these prisoners were involved in, enabling the prison officials to assume that torturing them was permissible. Another situation in which Waldron refers to and disagrees with is the manipulation of the definition of torture while in a state of emergency. Even though the US experienced terrorist attacks on 9/11, this does not mean that the government should be able to manipulate the definition of torture to get information about who the attackers were. Waldran explains that a nation sets up prohibitions for torture

More about Torture Essay

Open Document