Global Terrorism Essay

Total Length: 882 words ( 3 double-spaced pages)

Total Sources: 2

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Global Terrorism


A Policy Memo on Whether to Employ Waterboarding against High Value Terror Suspects

The attacks of September 11, 2001, left our country enraged and ready to strike those who attacked us. We searched for terrorist suspects and the masterminds who brought our nation so much pain. We then devised, nay borrowed, a method that would enable our top specialists to extract as much information as they could from those that we found and believed to be guilty. This interrogation method is called waterboarding, and this memo will examine the method and will describe why it is, in fact, torture and why it should never again be used against any suspect of the United States.


Waterboarding is a harsh yet effective interrogation method, whose origins lie in the Spanish Inquisition. This method simulates drowning and near death, and is described as follows: the subject is strapped to a board with the head slightly lower than the feet and a cloth is placed upon his or her face, after which water is poured onto the cloth over the face. Due to this process, breathing becomes difficult, the subject's gag reflex is stimulated and he or she feels as if drowning. It is because of this description and the harsh nature of the method that many human rights groups have stated that this method should not have been employed by the United States against anyone, for it constitutes torture and thus is against both the Geneva Convention and the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
[1: Ross, B. & Esposito, R. (2005). "CIA's Harsh Interrogation Techniques Described." ABC News. Retrieved from . ] [2: Combs, C. (2006). Terrorism in the Twenty-First Century, 4th Edition. New Jersey: Pearson Prentice Hall.] This policy memo agrees with these groups and believes that it is firmly against the United States constitution to exert cruel and unusual punishment, such as is endemic to this method. The fact that the United States government has called this method a "simulation" of a "near drowning experience" is untrue. The only reason one "feels" one is drowning is because this is actually happening, and this is why the reflex kicks in and the suspect will confess. One of the people who have written about this method has been veteran journalist Christopher Hitchens. Mr. Hitchens set up a meeting with anonymous "professionals" who were used to administering this technique to experience it on his own skin and determine once and for all whether it is torture or not. Mr. Hitchens correctly describes that waterboarding was never something that Americans were meant to do to terrorist suspects. It….....

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