Following the release of the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogation techniques, polls show that the nation is split in its opinion on the subject matter over whether water boarding and other enhanced interrogation techniques are ever justified and/or effective, but the majority does consent that the tactics used are nevertheless various forms of torture, which I agree is as well.
The questionable ethics behind such actions are what make this media uproar so enticing. The question becomes, “Should suspected terrorists have the same legal rights as other criminals?” My general response to such a question is no, but the hardest thing for me, in admitting that is that my response is fueled by fear—not by logic. As a very successful business woman, I have established by authority in the brokerage industry by being logical in all business negotiations, while also being ethical in how I conduct business so as to look out for my clients’ best interests. I am a shrewd business woman who knows that the power of tactical business negotiations can empower me to equally look out for my own best interests, which I call my financial security blanket. Never threaten my security. Terrorists threaten what I hold dear to me—my family, my friends, our culture and the society we reside in. That’s what makes this such a difficult thing for the average American to properly assess.
Meanwhile, military laws prohibit punishments before judgments of suspected terrorists. The law also states that defendants have charges dismissed or that they be compensated in some form of relief if they were subjected to punishments before trial. The cases highlighted in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report were recipients of pretrial punishments. The Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on the CIA’s interrogation program have provided defense attorneys representing accused terrorists being held in Guantanamo Bay with powerful ammunition. The attorneys are now questioning the integrity of the system through which their defendants are to be tried, and furthermore argue against that same system’s attempt to seek capital punishment.
The men accused of planning the September 11 attacks, as well as Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, who’s on trial for plotting the USS Cole bombing, were subjected to enhanced interrogation techniques, which included water boarding, rectal feeding, prolonged sleep deprivation and being shackled in uncomfortable positions for days at a time.
The fact that detainees at Guantanamo Bay were force fed is not a breaking news story. The media is now CHOOSING to focus on the incidents of enhanced interrogation techniques that have been an ongoing trend at Guantanamo, but make no mistake—this piece of this information has been readily available for the public, thanks to the lawyers who have been fighting an ongoing battle with the military commission over the years since their clients were first relocated to Guantanamo’s facility.
For example, Abu Wa’el Dhiab, who has been detained since 2002, has been staging ongoing hunger strikes, and being force fed for over 7 years. While there are very bad men in Guantanamo Bay, it is ignorant to assume that they are all guilty of travesties against humanity. Dhiab was cleared for release in 2009 by the US Government, and yet he remains in Guantanamo Bay after more than a decade without charge or trial.
The situation and incidents that are an ongoing issue at Guantanamo Bay has so easy resolution or obvious answer. Dick Cheney recently said in an interview that he would repeat all interrogation methods again if it meant the prevention of attacks on US soil. In retrospect, looking back at 9/11, I have to agree with him that I too want to do whatever it takes to protect this country and the people I love here. However, I also think that it important for those who are so passionately drawn to this incident that they read the 6,000 page report detailing the harsh interrogation techniques, and the accused men who were at the receiving end of these treatments in Guantanamo Bay. Like Abu Wa’el Dhiab, not all who have suffered or who are suffering in Guantanamo are guilty men, and so the question becomes, what flaws in the system persists? What has become of torturing those who endured enhanced interrogations? What does this country have to show for it? Do we—do YOU—ultimately feel any safer? It’s a bunch of questions I am still personally assessing.