The Truth about Torture

January 11, 2015

In this article Krauthammer is discussing his take on torture and the amendment proposed by John McCain that would make inhumane treatment of prisoners illegal.  Krauthammer first divides war prisoners into three categories: soldiers, terrorists, and terrorists with information.  In the case of soldiers, Krauthammer agrees with McCain that they are should not be tortured.  He believes that soldiers are legitimate fighters who have not done anything illegal and the only purpose for their detainment is to prevent them from rejoining the war.

Krauthammer takes a difference stance on terrorists because he sees them as unlawful combatants who attack and kill innocent civilians. For this reason, Krauthammer believes that they deserve to be tortured but we shouldn’t because the U.S. civilized and should not act upon revenge.

The final category is the crutch of Krauthammer’s argument.  First he gives a scenario where torturing a terrorist would save the lives of thousands of innocent people.  Using this hypothetical situation, Krauthammer concludes that torture should not only be used in this situation but also that it would be morally wrong to not torture the terrorist.  Thus, he argues that McCain’s amendment should not pass because it does not take into factor the idea that there are certain situations where torture is just.

After arguing why torture is not always immoral, Krauthammer next goes into detail about the type of torture that should be allowed.  He categorizes terrorists with information into two subgroups: the ticking time bomb and a high-level terrorist.  For both of these groups he believes that torture should be permitted, but only after receiving written permission from a cabinet level authority.

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