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Debate Info

76
83
Yes No
Debate Score:159
Arguments:96
Total Votes:182
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 Yes (54)
 
 No (42)

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TERMINATOR(6751) pic



Should Waterboarding Suspected Terrorists Be Legal?

Yes

Side Score: 76
VS.

No

Side Score: 83
3 points

It isn't going to kill them, most likely. It'll make them think that they are drowning. They will, potentially, give information which could save thousands of lives - now why would anybody want that to be illegal?

Side: yes
5 points

Because it's wrong to torture people. The U.S. government even signed a treaty saying that we would not torture: The Geneva Convention. We tried and convicted Japenese soldiers for doing the same to Americans...why was it wrong then and okay now?

In addition, most of the people being waterboarded have not gone through any type of trial. It is very possible (if not likely) that there are people being waterboarded who are either completely innocent or have no useful information. In both these cases, the information gotten from waterboarding will almost certainly be false. Ask any law enforcement agent, and you will find out that the best way to get informatuon from a suspect is through interegation, using proven methods. There is a reason why we don't do this sort of stuff of citizens.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
2 points

Other nations signed that document. It is not wrong to do it because they are potentially a great threat to America. North Vietnam has made threats to wipe America off the map; Osama bin Laden has sworn to launch another attack, etc.

There is no time for a trial. Even if they are innocent, waterboarding has minimal lasting effects and is considered much more humane than other forms of torture.

Side: yes
epenton Disputed
1 point

You cannot necessarily decide what is wrong and right. Nothing DEFINES torture as bad. It doesn't kill, so the universal struggle to thrive is not disturbed. With torture, we potentially save lives to not even take one. It may not always work, but if it's to save the lives of the innocent, we need to take our chances, instead of not doing anything.

Side: yes
unlearn(16) Disputed
1 point

But how many of the people being tortured are innocent? For example a lot of detainees from afghanistan were turned in by militants interested in receiving the bounty being offered by Americans. Many people of disliked minorities were turned in without any sort of evidence linking them to terrorist activities.

This is why we have a justice system that relies on evidence and not just suspicion. What if your neighbor had it out for you an accused you of a crime you did not commit? This is just one reason why torture is unacceptable. Not to mention any 'benefits' for the many are dubious at best, since war and torture creates animosity which leads inevitably to a future filled with more conflict, not less.

Side: No
2 points

The Terrorist would not think twice of Cutting your head off on video and sending it to the TV nightly news, now that is torture to watch! Water boarding should be legal and used at every possible opportunity.

Side: yes
Conro(767) Disputed
1 point

So you're saying because they do it (or they can/would do it), we can/will do it too? Perhaps we should be a bit more level-headed and humanitarian in our efforts to interrogate, rather than sinking to the level of a terrorist. Otherwise, what separates you from them?

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
4 points

What separates us from them? We do it to save lives - they do it to end lives.

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
1 point

by that logic, is there any reason you should not be waterboarded once a week just to see if you have any information?

Side: No
usps(365) Disputed
1 point

Me, no! you, maybe..............................................................

Side: yes
2 points

If they aren't willing to tell us the information we ask then we have to get it somehow. May it be waterboarding, or some other form of torture. We could possibly save hundreds, thousands, and even millions of lives.

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
1 point

read the question again "suspected" terrorists - there isn't always information "they" are withholding

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

Is it not better to risk the torture out of the possibility that they are withholding evidence, rather than let innumerable innocents come to harm?

Side: yes
2 points

There are some kinds of torture I do not believe in. Waterboarding, however, is not one of them. It is not extremely cruel, yet can make the suspects talk.

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
1 point

who should be subject to these rules? anyone but you? is life imprisonment extremely cruel? if an enemy warlord turns you in to get reward money and we take you from your country without your family even knowing what happened to you and never give you a lawyer or trial and then fake-drown you to get information you don't have - is that extremely cruel?

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
2 points

Not if it'll potentially save lives.

Side: yes
2 points

To some it may sound barbaric , but "Rules of war" is an oxymoron. The world got together at Geneva, and wrote out some "Rules of War". That sounds so enlightened and so Humane. And, in a world where everyone lives up to their agreements, it is "enlightened". However, that's not the world we live in. Since signing the Geneva Agreement, we have never fought an enemy that adhered to the rules.

When we engage an enemy, that "Cut off the heads" of our soldiers, it time to put down the rule book for a bit and stop the evil. Water-boarding is a Mind Game, with a little water thrown in. It may be frightening, but it dose no real harm. and it gets their attention. Water-boarding is very humane way to deal with an enemy, who happen to be Psychopaths.

Side: yes
2 points

It should. Many people on the other side of this argument repeatedly and groundlessly exlaim that "torture is ineffective". Well, we both can play this game : Torture is effective. There you have it.

Side: yes

They generalize WAY too much.

Side: yes
1 point

what is the effect of making waterboarding illegal?

it strengthens the resolve of terrorists, certainly.

if they know they can expect to be interrogated over tea and crumpets at the hilton, they can be bold and fearless.

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
2 points

are there many terrorists out there that are just holding out on wanting death to America cuz they might get waterboarded? a suicide bomber whose afraid he might get fake-drowned? or is it more likely to make new enemies with the families of those who have been tortured, or used as a recruitment tool for more terrorists??

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

We are not attempting to imply that the fear of waterboarding will stop the terrorism. What we are implying is that waterboarding will provide invaluable information which can potentially save innumerable lives.

Side: yes
1 point

Torture has shown to be a useful means to gain information.

Waterboarding is a form of torture. Maybe waterboarding itself isn't so effective, but I'd prefer to direct my answer towards torture rather than waterboarding itself.

However it should be used alongside other tools for information. Sole dependence on torture is stupid. We all know that.

Side: yes
1 point

If waterboarding can possibly cause a terrorist to give up information pertaining to a terroristic attack on American, then the waterboarding would have saved thousands of lives. So either you leave him alone and allow thousands of our own citizens to die or you torture him and save all of those lives.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of torture in the least bit, but, like war, it is a necessary evil sometimes.

Side: yes

People always seem to think that, by torturing somebody, we are lowering ourselves to the same level as them. I do not believe this. I believe, if they are willing to kill thousands of innocents, than what is wrong with us causing pain to one or two people. Without that torture, they could die in the terrorist attack anyway.

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
1 point

and they think - hey if they are trying to ruin our whole society with their heathen ways its ok to kill some of them instead - you're right your logic is sooo much different.

Side: No
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
1 point

that would be a great argument if those were your only two options - nothing or torture - however, there just so happens to be a way to get information that also isn't torture and doesn't throw away things Americans think they believe in (e.g. innocent until proven guilty) - win-win-win.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

In terrorism, there is rarely time for the legal system. By the time that an appropriate trial could be had, the threat would be over.

Side: yes
1 point

Terrorists are useless pricks, why should they destroy everything around us and kill millions of people. Waterboarding will help us to stop their attacks. I'm for it.

Side: yes
1 point

I wonder why, in war, it's okay to kill so many people but we can't do something that fraternities do to haze pledges...

Side: yes

Terrorists don't deserve a fair trial because they are unlawful combatants.

Water-boarding is more of a way to mess with their heads. If you ask me we should take it up a notch. Why should we care what we do to them when they would kill hundreds of innocent people without losing a bit of sleep over it?

Torture saves American lives.

Side: yes

Try telling that to a liberal.

Side: yes
1 point

just ask yourself...if your child was being held by terrorists threatening his/her life, and we had other terrorists in custody who may have information on your child's whereabouts, would you want them waterboarded?

Side: yes
7 points

Waterboarding has been shown to be ineffective.

I don't believe torture, especially ineffective torture, should be aloud by a country which advocates world peace.

Supporting Evidence: waterboarding (science.howstuffworks.com)
Side: No

What good is torture when a country that advocates peace and democracy? Yet we continue to used methods contradictory to our apparent ideals. Torture is ineffective.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
2 points

The torture is used to keep world peace.

Funny, I always heard that waterboarding was quite effective.

Side: yes
Pineapple(1448) Disputed
5 points

It's only effective if you're a quantity over quality kind of person.

It's such an unbearable act that the person being tortured will succomb almost instantaneously, and thus give any answer, fuck all if it's good intell or not.

Acting on bad intell is worse than none at all.

Side: No
4 points

Drowning is one of the most horrible ways to die, let alone live and continuously suffer through. Waterboarding only widens the gap between them and us, making it less likely that this conflict will ever be resolved.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. That is my firm belief.

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
2 points

then communism is the government you're looking for - since America believes in the rights of individuals

Side: No
2 points

I like at least that this debate accepts the fact that waterboarding is as of now illegal, too many on the right believe it is actually legal thanks to faux, it most certainly is not and we ourselves have convicted others for waterboarding our soldiers.

That said,

1. as tempting as it is from a strictly cro-magnon perspective to somehow get "revenge" on a terrorist, it is essentially one of the many things that separates our society from there's.

We are more humane, that's why Western civilization is so far ahead of the rest of the world. That's why the rest of the world either wants to be like the Westernized nations or are insanely (quite literally) jealous of us.

2. It doesn't work. Studies have shown it doesn't work. We know it doesn't work. It's not a matter of opinion. Trained interrogators have always and continue to get better and more information by using other means. (read linked paper for more on this)

3. Both logic and the Generals on the ground tell us that terrorists still to this day use the fact that we waterboarded way back before 2003 (yeah if you forgot, even the Bush administration wisely discontinued the practice, no idea how it turned into a debate again all the sudden)

as a very effective recruiting tool.

Terrorism is not like fighting an army of another nation. If we go to war for instance, we use soldiers who already signed up. These terrorists do not work that way. They need to use anger and hatred to fuel a general population's hatred for the West in order to recruit, things like torture and Guantanamo go a long way toward fueling the crazy hatred these people feel toward all things Western.

So yeah, while I understand the temptation to torture someone for info like in the show 24, it simply does not work in the real world, and does more harm than good.

Side: No
watchman2010(20) Disputed
2 points

"Torture and Guantanamo go a long way toward fueling the crazy hatred" is an wonderfully idealistic yet erroneous view of the reality. It supposes that you are dealing with rational people. That's where it looses sight of the facts. Their hatred is Religious in nature. Their culture only respects strength. That can witnessed in their actions, long before the first one was tortured.

They will stop only when they fear the results of not stopping, or they win. If we fail to come to terms with that, we delude ourselves.

Side: yes
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
1 point

"Torture and Guantanamo go a long way toward fueling the crazy hatred" is an wonderfully idealistic yet erroneous view of the reality. It supposes that you are dealing with rational people. That's where it looses sight of the facts. Their hatred is Religious in nature. Their culture only respects strength. That can witnessed in their actions, long before the first one was tortured.

Where is your proof that they only respect strength?

While the ones actually blowing themselves up are certifiably insane, the ones supporting the ones blowing themselves up are often quite sane, and not the least bit influenced by any religious ideas at all, but by stories about how evil America is.

They will stop only when they fear the results of not stopping, or they win. If we fail to come to terms with that, we delude ourselves.

This is demonstratably not true at all of terrorists. If it were one of the thousands of bombs us and Israel and a number of other nations have dropped would have ended it long long ago.

Side: No
Kinda(1649) Disputed
1 point

We are more humane, that's why Western civilization is so far ahead of the rest of the world.

Really. So to be human civilisation you have to make nations built on slavery, rape and kill everyone, pillage everyone and rid yourself of any honour or codes to 'win'. You're proud of all of that? That in order for you to drive an SUV children in Africa will die of malnutrition. Cause and effect. You've raped the world - but you're proud of it. It's good to know 'whites' still haven't changed.

Torture IS an effective way of gaining information. It doesn't mean it should be the only means used. It's useful to have another means of gaining information - aslong as nobody is reliant on it.

Side: yes
iamdavidh(4856) Disputed
1 point

You are arguing something altogether apart from what I said.

I'm talking about now, and our current laws, you are talking about how 1 of the Western nations came about. Besides, it is not as if England's history is much prettier Kinda, it's just more distant.

Anyway, all of that aside because it has 0 to do with anyting I said,

I can tell you have some kind of bone to pick. Why not find the source of your anger and start a new debate and I'll join you.

In the meantime, torture is not only immoral, it also doesn't work. There is no proof otherwise.

Side: No
2 points

Waterboarding is a form of torture, it's never ok to torture a human being for any reason. The CIA has been known to use this "technique" in the past, it has worked, but has failed more times than not.

Question:

If our Government did not see waterboarding as a form of torture, thus rendering it wrong, then why do they try so hard to cover it up?

It's wrong and shouldn't be done. There are more effective ways to get information from terrorists than torturing them.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

Why would torture never be okay for any reason? Is it not better to harm one person than to allow hundreds of others to come to even greater harm?

Side: yes
Liddy(36) Disputed
2 points

Torture is not okay because we need to be able to exemplify the values that distinguish us from the terrorists. Once we go that route we are no different from the terrorists we wish to stop.

Government-run torture rots the soul of a nation. I think of the dark ages. I'm not history buff, but I understand there is well established historical precedent for state-sanctioned torture, and the effects last for centuries, if not longer. This is why our Government goes out of it's way to cover-up the fact that we still use torture as a means to get information from terrorists.

I believe it says that the U.S. will not engage in "cruel and unusual punishments". We need to stand by our word as a Nation.

Side: No
trumpeter93(999) Disputed
1 point

You're right!

we could break their fingers and toes with a hammer.

Side: yes
2 points

In 1947 Yukio Asano was sentenced to 15 years hard labor in U.S. prison for committing war crimes.

The charge and specifications against Asano were:

Charge: That between 1 April, 1943 and 31 August, 1944, , at Fukoka Prisoner of War Branch Camp Number 3, Kyushu, Japan, the accused Yukio Asana, then a civilian serving as an interpreter with the Armed Forces of Japan, a nation then at war with the United States of America and its Allies, did violate the Laws and Customs of War.

Specification 1: That in or about July or August, 1943, the accused Yukio Asano, did willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Morris O. Killough, an American Prisoner of War, by beating and kicking him; by fastening him on a stretcher and pouring water up his nostrils.

Specification 2: That on or about 15 May, 1944, at Fukoka Prisoner of War Branch Camp Number 3, Kyushu, Japan, the accused Yukio Asano, did, willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture Thomas B. Armitage, William O Cash and Munroe Dave Woodall, American Prisoners of War by beating and kicking them, by forcing water into their mouths and noses; and by pressing lighted cigarettes against their bodies.

Specification 5. That between 1 April, 1943 and 31 December, 1943, the accused Yukio Asano, did, willfully and unlawfully, brutally mistreat and torture John Henry Burton, an American Prisoner of War, by beating him; and by fastening him head downward on a stretcher and forcing water into his nose

Supporting Evidence: ref:Drop By Drop (www.pegc.us)
Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

You've made about eight of these arguments. You are littering my debate - any more and I'll ban you.

P.S. He was convicted because he did it to Americans - the most egoistical bastards this world has ever seen. If he did it to, say, the Russians or the Chinese (for example), would America have given a damn?

Side: yes
JustIgnoreMe(3585) Disputed Banned
2 points

don't you think the Russian's or Chinese would prosecute him in those cases? Should America be the one to prosecute people for crimes by foreigners against other countries?

I am not making repetitive arguments - just valid arguments against the positions posted - if you can't handle that then by all means ban me.

Side: No
2 points

During the revolutionary war, John Adams was the attorney for the British soldiers accused in the Boston massacre - while we were at war. We should not do to suspected anything what we don't even do to convicted murderers and rapists if they were born in our longitude and latitude

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

A murderer, most often, kills one or two people. A rapist does not kill anybody. Why should they be tortured.

As I implied all throughout this - it is not as punishment, it is to get information to save lives.

Side: yes
2 points

Let me ask a question: Should torturing American suspects of crimes be legal? Although I'm not sure I would support torturing anyone, it is atrocious to torture someone who may not have even done anything wrong. If someone did this to Americans, we'd all be going through the roof. Why is it different because it's people in the Middle East?

Side: No
Aciid(17) Disputed
1 point

It should be illegal, but it wont... No shit we'd be going through the roof. Did you know that the people in middle east do torturer us? Did you know they behead us? Did you know they shoot us in the head execution style? There are many things they do to us. We could do way worse things then "Waterboarding".

Side: yes
Awen27(541) Disputed
2 points

I know that there are terrorists in the Middle East, but I also know that not everyone from the Middle East is a terrorist. I'm saying that every human being deserves the right to a fair trial. Why is it okay to torture and detain a man from the Middle East without a trial? He's a human being with the same rights as an American. Not the same legal rights, but the same natural rights.

It sounds like you're saying that because some people in the Middle East torture Americans, Americans should be allowed to torture ANYONE in the Middle East, even someone not proven to have had any part of torturing us. I'm talking about terrorism SUSPECTS, not CONVICTS. As I said before, I'm not sure I'm okay with torturing anyone at all, but I know that it's not okay to torture those who may be innocent.

This is the sort of thing I'm talking about:

http://www.aclu.org/national-security/guantanamo-prisoner-successfully-challenges-unlawful-detention

This man was tortured and isolated without a trial or even a charge. That's not okay.

Side: No
1 point

I dont think watterboarding should be leagal in most cases. Now if a guy claims to know that there is a nuclear bomb planted in New York City yeah probably water board him. But im not sure i want to give goverment power to torture people when ever they want to.

Side: No
1 point

Waterboarding is torture. And it doesn't work all the time. It's funny that people still do it when they talk about democracy.

Side: No
TERMINATOR(6751) Disputed
1 point

Would you torture if the lives of your family depended on it?

Side: yes
1 point

I believe that no one should be waterboarded. Not even to convicted mass murderers like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. How can one say they believe in the equal rights of ALL human beings if they torture a few of them, but leave the rest intact. Waterboarding, while it won't kill you, makes you believe that you're drowning. CIA agents themselves could not last for more than thirteen seconds. Waterboarding is so severe, you'll wish you were dead, a reason why there are so many suicide attempts at Guantanamo Bay.

The Universal Declaration of Human rights, established over 60 years ago, reminds us all of the rights and freedoms we all are guaranteed. Article 5 states:

"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."

The federal government has repeatedly ignored some of the most important things in our lives that we take for granted; sanity, dignity and most importantly, our humanity. To be human in the moral sense means to be a compassionate, merciful individual who has respect for other humans. Many think that waterboarding will provide us with valuable information. Just like aggressive interrogation, the prisoner would likely provide false information, so the pain would stop. It is human nature to do so.

Therefore, waterboarding is cruel, unnecessary and violates some of the most basic principles of humanity. The alleged "information" we garner from waterboarding is most likely inaccurate and will simply waste more money. It's time we stop this sick game.

Side: No

I think not because there are many times when they are not actually terrorists, and when they are, they might not even have the information we want to get from them. But if there was a time when we knew for sure someone was a terrorist and they did have information we need, I say torture all you want. In fact, if it were my decision, I wouldn't stop at water boarding.

Side: No